Product Liability:

Pharmaceutical claims are typically asserted when a drug has unintended or unexpected side effects.  In many instances, such side effects are worse than the condition that the drug was meant to prevent.  Legally, such claims fall within the ambit of “product liability” lawsuits.  The manufacturer of every product has an obligation to use all reasonable means to ensure that their product is safe.  A product is not safe if: (a) the warnings accompanying the product do not alert the consumers to the hazards associated with the product’s use, thus rendering the product more dangerous than a reasonable person would think; or (b) the product is designed in a manner that renders it more dangerous than necessary, given the body of knowledge that was available to the manufacturer at the time the product was made and sold.

Class Action vs. Mass Tort:

Although some class actions are filed against the manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices, the class action lawsuits typically involve the people who have not yet suffered any injury from the drug.  These class action lawsuits try to force the manufacturer to pay for “medical monitoring” costs, so those consumers who took the drug can be tested to determine whether the hazardous side effects begin to manifest themselves later.  The majority of lawsuits filed, and especially those that make headlines, are not class action lawsuits, but instead are a group of very similar lawsuits filed “in mass,” often all in the same court.  The court makes some rulings that affect all cases in the group, but the cases are eventually tried individually.

Statute of Limitations:

The law often imposes a limit on the amount of time that an injured person has to file a lawsuit after an injury.  In many states, the statute of limitations can be as short as 2 or 3 years for pharmaceutical cases.  However, the calculation of the statute of limitations is not always easy in pharmaceutical cases.  When does the statute start to run?  When the side effect first surfaces, or when a doctor officially diagnoses it?  When the side effect is first reported in an obscure medical journal, or when the FDA orders the manufacturer to send out a new warning to all doctors who had prescribed the drug?  If your injury manifested itself some time ago, it is imperative that you get a case evaluation soon, to ensure that your claim is not barred by the statute of limitations.

Suggested Reading:

For users who are looking for information on drug litigation, filing lawsuits, understanding class action lawsuits, learning about jury verdicts in popular cases, seeking legal help for those suffering from drug side effects, or getting compensated for harmful effects and injuries caused by prescription drugs, please take time to browse the information on this site, utilizing the link provided below: