An injury or death caused by a pharmaceutical drug might be compensable under the law of product liability. Like other product liability cases, those involving pharmaceutical drugs have their unique issues though. Product liability claims in California involving these drugs usually fall into one of three categories that resemble other product liability claims. Those three categories are:
- Manufacturing defects
- Dangerous side effects
- Inadequate warnings, instructions or marketing
These occur at the facility that the drug was manufactured. An improper mix might have occurred, or the drug might have become tainted or infected. A manufacturing defect could even involve mislabeling at the drug’s point of origin.
Dangerous side effects
In most products, this would be called a design defect. A manufacturing defect isn’t an issue with this category of pharmaceutical product liability claim. Although the drug was properly manufactured, it still has aftereffects that result in injuries like dizziness and falling, strokes or heart attacks.
Improper warnings instructions or marketing
Product liability issues with a pharmaceutical drug’s marketing involve the warnings and instructions about using it. These claims might turn on the sufficiency of instructions of use or lack of disclosure of possible side effects.
A plaintiff alleging pharmaceutical product liability need not allege only one defect in the product. A three-count lawsuit alleging all three possible defects is permissible. They might also add other counts, including one for punitive damages if they can prove that the manufacturer knew of product defects and intentionally withheld information about them.
The fact that the Food and Drug Administration approves a medication doesn’t absolve a manufacturer from liability for severe side effects that result from its prescribed use. When a manufacturer of pharmaceutical drugs becomes aware of the fact that its product might cause serious side effects, it has a duty to protect the public by making appropriate disclosures to doctors and governmental agencies.
Product liability cases involving pharmaceutical drugs include highly complex litigation. The personal injury attorney must have significant experience in litigating both product liability and pharmaceutical cases.
If you believe that you or somebody close to you was injured by a defective pharmaceutical drug, contact our attorneys at Guldjian for a free consultation and case evaluation. You’ll be needing an experienced, dedicated, aggressive and successful pharmaceutical product liability attorney. People who are injured by severe side effects of drugs deserve to be fairly compensated.