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Pharmaceutical Lawsuits - What You Need to Know

Drug manufacturers, doctors, and pharmacists have a responsibility to provide safe and effective products to consumers. However, each year thousands of patients suffer harmful side effects from defective and dangerous drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets forth various guidelines for determining whether a pharmaceutical drug can be marketed to consumers. However, even if a drug is FDA approved, the manufacturer still may be held liable for any injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of using the drug.

Who May Be Held Liable in a Pharmaceutical Lawsuit?

If you are injured because of a defective or dangerous product, there are several parties who may be liable. Our firm has guided numerous clients to successful legal solutions in pharmaceutical lawsuits. We can conduct an investigation to determine who is responsible for your injury.

Depending on the situation, you may file a lawsuit against:

  • The manufacturer who made the drug
  • The pharmacist who filled the prescription
  • The doctor who prescribed the drug
  • The nurse who provide instructions about how to use the drug

Drug manufacturers must provide adequate warnings about specific side effects that have occurred for each drug. If they fail to do so, and you suffer an injury or illness as a result, you can file a lawsuit. Improper marketing practices, such as highlighting the benefits while downplaying or hiding the risks of a drug, can also make a manufacturer liable.

Furthermore, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, so-called “learned intermediaries,” must provide adequate safety instructions to consumers. For example, if your doctor knows that a certain drug will put you at unnecessary risk for an illness, and prescribes it to you anyways, you can file a lawsuit. Pharmacists who improperly fill prescriptions, or nurses who give wrong instructions, may also be held responsible for your injuries in court.

When Pharmaceutical Lawsuits Get Tricky

If the injury does not show symptoms for months or years after taking the drug, it can be difficult to determine who is liable. Identifying the specific manufacturer or the supplier of the defective drug gets harder as more time passes. For example, if you take a drug during pregnancy, and your child suffers a medical condition years later, it may be difficult to prove liability.

Those who have been injured by mandatory childhood vaccinations can pursue compensation through the National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act of 1986. Before suing vaccine manufacturers, plaintiffs are required to file a claim with this federal program. If a settlement cannot be obtained, you may then file a lawsuit. It is important to speak with our dedicated San Francisco dangerous drug attorneys to discuss your options regarding a vaccine injury claim.

Furthermore, drug manufacturers are not responsible to provide warnings about side effects that could happen to a particularly susceptible consumer. They cannot warn you about something they cannot predict. However, if a side effect has been reported, the manufacturer must be held liable. If there is no evidence to suggest the drug would cause your injury, you may not be able to file a lawsuit for failure to warn. You may still be able to pursue compensation if the drug was defective or unusually dangerous, or if the manufacturer used illegal marketing practices.

Compensation for Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

You may be able to obtain compensation for a variety of economic and noneconomic damages in a pharmaceutical lawsuit. Depending on your case, you may even be awarded punitive damages to punish the defendant. In general, you may be entitled to a settlement for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of earning potential, and future expected medical expenses.

Seek a Favorable Settlement with the Help of Our Lawyers

At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we provide efficient and compassionate representation to injured clients. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a harmful drug, our San Francisco defective drug attorneys can help you file a lawsuit. Whether the manufacturer is responsible or another party is liable, we can fight on your behalf every step of the way.

Contact our firm today to discuss your case with one of our experienced legal advocates, and schedule a free consultation.