Defective Drug Lawsuits: 5 Myths Victims Should Be Aware Of

Defective Drug Lawsuits: 5 Myths Victims Should Be Aware Of
Defective Drug Lawsuits: 5 Myths Victims Should Be Aware Of

The American pharmaceutical industry is one of the most acclaimed in the world. While it offers high-quality drugs to address diverse conditions, not all of them are equal. All medications carry some degree of risk, and some drugs have even proved downright dangerous. This fact is a concern for Americans, with almost half of the population taking at least one prescription medication.

The Sedwick 2023 State of the Nation Recall Index highlights a surge in drug recalls in 2022, with defective units reaching a five-year high. Factors like contamination, sterility, quality issues, and undeclared ingredients are the top causes of recalls. Besides recalls, defective drug lawsuits are also increasing in number in the US.

Negligent and unethical conduct by pharmaceutical manufacturers poses a great risk to public health. Additionally, it maligns the decisions of healthcare professionals, costing billions of dollars in healthcare expenses to the government. However, victims often go wrong with defective drug claims due to a lack of awareness and misconceptions.

In this article, we will highlight a few myths about defective drug lawsuits that victims should be aware of.

Myth #1: All Medication Side Effects Are Grounds for Lawsuits

According to the CDC, nearly 1.3 million emergency department visits annually are attributed to adverse drug events. Almost 350,000 patients require hospitalization for further treatment after these emergency visits. Older adults are at a higher risk because they tend to take more medicines due to age-related issues.

While the number of side effects is disconcerting, not all of them are valid grounds for lawsuits. You cannot hold a manufacturer responsible for a dispensing error or an allergic reaction, specifically if the labels carry the statutory warnings. Manufacturers are liable only if they hide critical information or fail to warn about potential risks.

The Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit is an instance you can consider to understand the case of manufacturer negligence. Horizon Therapeutics is facing several lawsuits for failing to warn patients about the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus. Tepezza, a ground-breaking drug used to treat Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), was approved in 2020 but ended up in legal trouble in August 2022.

According to TorHoerman Law, the Tepezza litigation currently includes 74 filings. Additionally, it is being consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) to ensure efficiency in the legal processing of the claim.

Like Horizon Therapeutics, several big names like Bayer, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott Laboratories have come under the legal radar. However, victims must realize the seriousness of the claim, and consult a legal expert before raising a red flag.

Myth #2: Quick Settlements Are Always Beneficial

According to data, the highest compensation for a defective drug claim was an unbelievable $3 billion paid by GlaxoSmithKline. The company was held liable for making misleading statements about Avandia’s safety, giving kickbacks to physicians for prescribing, and false reporting to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.

Getting big money as compensation from a drug manufacturer sounds alluring, but a quick settlement is not the best option. Even if a company offers you thousands of dollars, it may not be enough to cover the extent of damage, future medical expenses, and the overall impact on your life. The manufacturer knows better about the delayed side effects than you do, so they may want to quickly wrap up settlements.

Victims should not accept offers without comprehending the full scope of their losses. An experienced attorney is the best person to calculate the rightful compensation, negotiate a fair settlement, and ensure that victims do not compromise for less.

Myth #3: Only Those Directly Harmed Can File a Lawsuit

Defective drugs can have serious consequences, including severe disability, death, miscarriage, and birth defects. The victims are not the only people who suffer; their loved ones also encounter emotional distress, financial burdens, and loss of consortium. Imagine raising a child with a birth defect or losing a partner due to a defective medication.

Fortunately, the family members of a victim can seek justice and compensation in such cases. All they have to do is understand the scope of legal recourse and find a lawyer who can help them build a robust lawsuit. Besides the victims themselves, their family members deserve to be paid for the damage caused by dangerous medicine.

Myth #4: Class Action Lawsuits Are the Ideal Alternative

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures consumers receive safe and effective medications. However, a few of them pass the safety nets and reach the market, causing harm to several victims. These victims often join hands to file a class action lawsuit against a drug manufacturer because it seems like a safe option.

However, they might not be an ideal alternative for all victims. The choice between a class action lawsuit and an individual claim depends on the unique circumstances of the plaintiff. Consulting with a seasoned attorney is the best way to determine the most suitable course of action depending on one’s unique situation.

Myth #5: Pursuing a Lawsuit is Too Expensive

Financial concerns may deter victims from pursuing legal action. These get bigger when facing a powerful pharmaceutical corporation with a strong legal team and abundant resources. No matter how much a victim may have suffered, standing up against a strong adversary sounds challenging. The reality is that the expense should not be a reason to worry.

Many defective drug specialist attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. It means they get their payment only after getting a favorable verdict and rightful compensation for their client. It makes expert legal representation accessible to victims without upfront costs. Moreover, some law firms provide free consultations, helping them explore their legal options from the start.

In conclusion, defective drug lawsuits involve a complex legal process against a strong corporation. It requires a clear understanding of the facts to navigate the challenges with confidence and ease. As a victim planning to seek justice from a negligent or unethical manufacturer, you must also steer clear of these myths. Having an expert lawyer guiding you is equally crucial.