For most people, a physician will prescribe a drug that will help with whatever ails a patient. Whether it’s an inflammatory drug for a sprained ankle or a medication to combat heart disease, millions of doctors write prescriptions millions of times a day. In the vast majority of those occurrences, the patient takes the prescription as it’s intended and improves as a result of taking it. In some cases, that does not happen. This is where a product liability lawyer can help one who’s been injured recoup some of their losses.
Product liability cases typically fall under a traditional personal injury suit. When one is injured because of a dangerous or defective product, he typically has a liability case that a lawyer can argue on his or her behalf. Often, these include foods or drinks and in some cases, a product liability case includes pharmaceutical drugs.
Typically, the drug manufacturers are liable for those defects that resulted in injury to the user and opened up the liability issues. It’s not based on whether negligence was intended, though there it should accompany an additional theory of liability. This is because there are warning labels on different drugs, over the counter or prescription, that are there to inform of side effects. That means an alternative avenue or theory must provide proof that side effects or dangers were presented to the user that were not included in the original disclosures.
Even if a drug has FDA approval, it doesn’t mean the drug maker has no more responsibility in whether the drug causes damage after it hits the market if it is indeed defective in some way. So, what happens if a drug is deemed unsafe in an unavoidable manner?
Those deemed unavoidably unsafe means there is no way to make them 100 percent safe, regardless of how carefully they are manufactured. In other words, there may be harmful side effects, but the benefits will outweigh the side effects. In these instances, and assuming proper warnings are included in the drugs, the manufacturer is typically shielded from any kind of liability suit.
That said, it’s important to note that a drug maker has a duty to warn users and potential users of possible side effects. If there are dangers or side effects the company does not know exists, it has no duty to warn, naturally, because it’s not aware there is anything to be warned against.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act
In recent years, a new law was passed, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. This was passed into law in order to provide a solution to those who sustained any kind of injury as a result of a child immunization they received years earlier. The goal with the law is to eliminate “lengthy and expensive litigation.”Attorneys have a responsibility to inform their clients who consult them about such injuries that the act exists. These types of lawsuits are becoming more common and the new law, applicable in Florida and every other state, helps move them forward.