Unfortunately, we hear way too often of defective drugs and pharmaceutical products being placed on the market which end up causing users unexpected health issues. Some drugs have nasty side effects that overpower the actual benefits, some are tainted during production, and possibly worst of all, some have side effects that aren’t fully disclosed to the drug-buying public.
When you have suffered physical and monetary damages as a result of a defective drug, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the party (or parties) that harmed you.
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, our national litigation team has been monitoring the experiences of breast cancer survivors and chemotherapy patients who have suffered from using Taxotere. Because defective drugs and medical devices can fall under product liability claims, it is important for those seeking to file a claim to understand what evidence is needed to support their case.
How Can Pharmaceutical Lawsuits Come About?
There are three major types of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies:
1. Design defect.
When drugs are defectively designed, they can cause a host of dangerous side effects. These problems have nothing to do with the medicine’s manufacturing process.
2. Drug manufacturing defects.
The issue with the drug occurs in the manufacturing process. For instance, a harmful chemical can taint the formulation, causing the medication to be harmful for the user.
3. Failure to warn/improper instructions on medications.
A manufacturer failed to provide adequate warning about side effects and potential risks or failed to provide proper instructions and information essential to the safe consumption of the drug.
Product liability claims work through strict liability. This means that the pharmaceutical company can be held liable without the plaintiff having to prove negligence or fault.
Can You Sue the Pharmaceutical Company Responsible?
Yes, the manufacturer responsible for the defective drug can be held liable. Unfortunately, these lawsuits can take an extensive amount of time to come to an end. From the initial recognition that the drug is defective to the discovery process during which evidence emerges and then the actual litigation process, there is plenty that goes into a product liability lawsuit.
Since a great deal of people take these medications, it’s often necessary to form class action lawsuits. These are cases in which numerous plaintiffs come together to take a drug manufacturer to court.
A handful of states have contributory negligence or something that is known as comparative fault. This simply means that if the plaintiff had any sort of contribution to his or her own injuries, that might bar recovery to some degree.
When the plaintiff is aware of the risk involved in using a drug and uses the product anyway, and becomes injured as a result, this can result in a loss of said damages. This all comes down to the plaintiff’s state of mind. It calls into question whether he/she clearly disregarded the danger of using the product.
What About Substantial Modification?
If the plaintiff modified the product and that change caused the injury, the manufacturer will likely not be held liable. Why? Because that modification was the direct cause of harm. This is what’s known as substantial modification.
However, if the manufacturer could predict that the consumer would alter the product, they might still be found liable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Depending on the state, the plaintiff only has so long to file a claim. If the statute of limitations has expired, the manufacturer cannot be held liable. This can cause difficulty in defective drug cases if the plaintiff does not notice a problem until months or years after the injury has taken place.
If you or a loved one has suffered from permanent tearing as a result of being treated by the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830. We are currently investigating claims made by for breast cancer survivors and chemotherapy patients.