Fort Lauderdale Dangerous Drug Lawyer
Bad Drug Attorneys Representing Broward County, Florida
Nowadays, drug recalls and the class action lawsuits that often follow are a regular occurrence. New pharmaceutical ads appear on television daily, and the long list of potential side effects has become all too common. Most people are able to take medication as prescribed without experiencing major complications. However, sometimes, drug companies do not fully disclose all the risks that are associated with a new drug, and patients may unknowingly take on risks they likely would have chosen to avoid in favor of a less risky treatment option. Patients who are injured as a result of a bad or defective drug may have recourse through the civil court system if they file a medical action against the appropriate party in a timely manner with the help of a Fort Lauderdale dangerous drug lawyer.
Types of bad drug lawsuits
Undisclosed side effects comprise only one of the three different categories of bad drug legal claims. People who are injured as a result of taking a prescription medication as directed may file suit if:
- The drug design is defective;
- The drug is defective due to the way it was manufactured.
Failure to warn or instruct
Failure to warn cases involve drug manufacturers who are aware of a hazard that is posed by their drug, but the drug maker does not adequately warn the patient. The manufacturer is also liable for the patient’s injury if the drug warning is included in a manner that is difficult for the patient to read. Similarly, in other cases, the label on a medicine may not adequately instruct the patient on how to use the product. As a result of unknowingly misusing the medicine, the patient may sustain injury. Failure to instruct is more common when drugs are marketed for “off-label” uses, in which case the medicine may legitimately be prescribed to remedy a condition other than the ailment the drug was originally designed to treat.
Drug design defect
A somewhat more controversial area of defective drug liability cases, the validity of design defect claims have been challenged based on the argument that materially altering the design of a drug results in the production of an entirely different drug. Nevertheless, a plaintiff may file a design defect claim if a drug causes dangerous side effects that resulted in injury to the patient despite the drug being manufactured correctly. For example, if a weight loss drug is manufactured exactly according to the way it was designed, but causes kidney failure in those who take the drug, the manufacturer is liable for a design defect that causes consumers to develop a serious ailment.
Patients harmed by defective drugs in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County or elsewhere in Florida may file a claim for a manufacturing defect if a drug has become unsafe as a result of an error that occurred during the manufacturing phase at the drug’s place of origin. An error that occurs during shipping, labeling, or when a pharmacist is making and bottling a drug may also be considered a manufacturing defect. An example of a manufacturing defect is an allergy drug that has become contaminated with an unknown ingredient that causes vertigo in 50 percent of the patients who use the medication. Those who experience vertigo and fall and become injured may file a claim and argue the drug became tainted during manufacturing with a substance that caused their injury.
Who is liable for bad and defective drugs?
Drug manufacturers have a duty to create reasonably safe products for patients. Therefore, they are held to a standard of strict liability if a consumer becomes injured as a result of taking a dangerous or defective drug. Unlike negligence lawsuits, strict liability cases do not require the plaintiff to establish the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in manufacturing and marketing the product that caused the plaintiff’s injury. Liability does not end at the manufacturing plant. Other parties along the distribution chain are often named as defendants in defective drug lawsuits. These legal actions often include:
- the patient’s doctor;
- the hospital at which the patient was treated;
- the pharmacy that delivered the drug to the patient;
- the drug company’s pharmaceutical sales reps;
- the laboratory that tested the drug prior to obtaining approval for sale.
Proving a drug was bad or defective
There are several elements a Fort Lauderdale plaintiff must establish to prevail in a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer for a bad or defective drug. First, the plaintiff must be a patient who used the drug and sustained an injury. If the patient is unable to file suit due to severe injury, illness, or death, the patient’s family members may file a claim on his or her behalf. In addition to the patient being injured after using the drug, the plaintiff’s attorney must establish the drug was defective, marketed improperly, and/or had undisclosed side effects. Some drugs have defects that cover more than one category. Finally, the patient’s attorney must prove the drug’s defect was the cause of the patient’s injury.
Compensation for injured patients
Patients who are injured by a defective drug may file a claim to receive compensation that will ultimately help their recovery in a variety of ways. The defendant may be ordered to pay the patients past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and in some cases, loss of earning potential and compensation for pain and suffering. The amount of compensation the patient may recover depends on the extent of the injury and other factors in the case.
Consult with a Florida dangerous drug attorney
Patients who suspect a medication may have caused injury should immediately contact a Fort Lauderdale bad drug lawyer who has a proven track record in representing patients in defective drug cases in Broward County and throughout Florida. It is important that patients and their family members contact a lawyer without delay as Florida imposes a four-year statute of limitations on cases that involve a defective product. Therefore, if the case is not filed within four years of the date of injury, it is unlikely a court would be willing to hear the case in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Nevertheless, anyone who may have been injured by a bad drug should contact a dangerous drug attorney. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Broward County can help injured patients understand all their legal options and choose the best approach toward getting the legal and financial help that is often needed to cover bills and medical expenses and to help ease some of the injured patients’ concerns while on the road to healing and financial recovery.