Prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause serious and irreversible injuries to a trusting public when they are improperly designed or manufactured. Consumers should be able to trust that the medications they take will not cause further illnesses or injuries. Unfortunately, in the quest to cut corners and maximize profits, many pharmaceutical companies put bad drugs on the market.
Victims have the legal right to compensation for injuries caused by dangerous drugs. Also, it is important to hold manufacturers accountable for their negligence so that other innocent victims are not harmed by such drugs. The experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are highly skilled at litigating pharmaceutical cases. You can trust our skill and experience to secure the compensation to which Florida law entitles you.
When Is a Manufacturer Legally Responsible for Putting Bad Drugs on the Market?
To impose legal responsibility (“liability”) on a pharmaceutical manufacturer, an injury victim must present a legal basis for liability. These include:
- Products liability: When any product injures consumers due to defects in design or manufacturing, the manufacturer is obligated to pay compensation for these injuries. This can extend to consumers who actually purchased the product or any foreseeable user of the product. In addition to the manufacturer, distributors and retailers can also face liability for getting the dangerous product to the injured consumer. This general theory of liability can apply to pharmaceutical products and any other dangerous consumer goods.
- Dangerous side effects: Almost every medication comes with the possibility of side effects. While drug manufacturers are not expected to eliminate all possible side effects, they must properly label their products and adequately warn consumers about them. In some cases, manufacturers actually attempt to conceal the possibility of side effects. Manufacturers can also face the penalty of punitive damages, which are imposed to punish a defendant for, particularly egregious conduct. This usually occurs when a defendant has acted intentionally, caused harm to a large number of plaintiffs, or posted significant profits as the result of its conduct.
- Improper marketing: Marketing of pharmaceutical products does not refer only to television or magazine advertisements. Improper marketing can also consist of packaging, branding, warnings, and counseling about medication. A manufacturer, sales representative, doctor, or pharmacist can provide counseling about a medication.
It is also important to identify everyone that is legally responsible for your injuries. The law imposes liabilities on any company that was responsible for placing the product in the “stream of commerce” (that is, the path that ultimately led the product to the hands of the consumer). This can include the manufacturer, distributor, or retail sales location. In the case of defective drugs, this can also include:
- Testing laboratories – Labs and scientists may face liability for negligently performing tests, presenting false data, or performing incomplete studies.
- Pharmaceutical sales representatives – The representative, the sales company, and the manufacturer may all face liability for false or misleading statements and other misrepresentations made by its sales staff.
- Physicians – Doctors who relied on incomplete data from a testing laboratory or false statements from a sales representative may face liability because doctors ultimately have a duty to exercise their own professional judgments in determining the appropriate medication for patients. Doctors may also face liability for prescribing medications with known side effects or contraindications, or medications with questionable research data that the doctor knew—or should have known—about.
- Medical facilities – A hospital, clinic, or assisted living or outpatient facility can all face liability for injuries caused by bad drugs. By distributing or prescribing medication to a patient, a medical facility can directly cause injuries. These facilities may also face liability for the negligence of doctors whom they employ. If a doctor prescribes a bad medication within the scope of employment by a medical facility, that facility is obligated to compensate the victim for any resulting injuries.
- Pharmacies or pharmacists – A pharmacist who provided counseling about a defective medication may face liability for causing drug injuries. Like medical facilities, a pharmacy is liable for pharmacists who offer negligent medication counseling within the scope of their employment. Individual pharmacists may also commit malpractice if they fail to warn patients about dangerous side effects, fail to learn about the risks of particular medications or present misleading information about the risks of particular medications.
How Do I Obtain Compensation From a Large Corporation?
Product liability cases can be complicated—and bad drug cases are even more so. Many large, multinational corporations may be responsible for causing your injuries and may be ready to fight against any type of legal liabilities. Documenting your injuries, determining which company or companies are responsible, figuring out how to contact them about your claims, proving they are liable for your injuries, and proving the number of your financial losses—these are daunting tasks. It is difficult—and sometimes impossible—for most injury victims to go through this process alone, especially with a large, intimidating corporation as an adversary.
The good news is that injury victims do not have to face this lengthy, complicated process alone. An experienced product liability attorney will thoroughly document and appropriately present your bad drug claim. A lawyer will also help determine whether a settlement offer from a company is fair or whether you need to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim to receive adequate compensation for your legal damages. A lawyer can handle these procedural concerns and strategic decisions for you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Drug Injury Attorneys Who Will Hold Drug Manufacturers Accountable
Drug manufacturers have a legal obligation to make their products safe for the trusting public. When they negligently design or manufacture medications, injury victims are entitled to compensation for their losses. The Dolman Law Group has more than 46 years of experience in protecting the rights of injury victims in the Clearwater area. We hold drug manufacturers accountable for their negligence to protect injured clients and to prevent other innocent victims from being injured. Call (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today.