Dangerous Drug Lawsuits
Pharmaceutical litigation is a complex area of law. Big drug companies like Pfizer, Roche, Novartis, Merck, GlaxoSmithKine and Johnson & Johnson take in billions of dollars in revenue from over the counter medicines, prescription drugs, and medical devices annually. When people are harmed by a defective or dangerous drug, or drugs that were rushed to the market the big pharma companies may be liable for the injuries or deaths that result. These pharmaceutical giants have large corporate headquarters and huge legal departments, with lawyers ready to vigorously defend any claims that come their way. Taking on a pharmaceutical company can be challenging and for some lawyers, intimidating.
Patients, consumers, and their families expect the FDA approval process to keep them safe, and for drugs to be effective, as they are advertised. If a drug causes serious injury, the victim (plaintiff) must prove that the drug that injured them was defective in one of three ways:
- There was a defect in design: When a drug or medical device is not designed properly, they may cause injury. Metal on metal hip implants are an example of a medical device design defect where the design caused the product to fail early on.
- There was a defect in manufacturing: This could be a wrong ingredient put into a medication, or a defect in the assembly process. When product recalls are issued based on a certain batch of production, this may be due to a manufacturing defect.
- The drug company failed to warn of the risks. If a company knew about the risks of a drug but did not take action to recall it or warn uses of the risks, this could be deemed a failure to warn. In 2009, the FDA warned consumers not to use the homeopathic cold remedy Zicam, after more than 130 people reported losing their sense of smell from using the product. Lawsuits alleged that the manufacturer failed to provide sufficient warning of the side effects.
The opioid litigation is an example of current litigation involving a dangerous drug.
Thousands of lawsuits are currently pending against pharmacies, drug manufacturers, drug distributors, and physicians. The lawsuits generally allege drug manufacturers carried out marketing campaigns that deceptively promoted the benefits of using opioids to treat chronic, rather than short-term pain. Damages in these cases are significant as many people addicted to opioids needed extensive emergency medical care and hospitalization.
Zantac Lawsuits in South Carolina
One example of a defective design and failure to warn dangerous drug cases is the Zantac cancer cases that are currently in early stages. The heartburn drug Zantac was created by GlaxoSmithKine in 1977 and became available as a generic drug in 1984. Pfizer created over the counter version of ranitidine in 2004, Eventually, more than 20 manufacturers made over the counter ranitidine in various forms (tablets, capsules, syrup). If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you may have a case for legal compensation, and it would be advisable to speak with a dangerous drug lawyer immediately. Zantac cases are currently being litigated and time is of the essence.
What is Multi-District Litigation?
When dangerous drugs hurt many people, lawsuits may be consolidated in a process called multi-district litigation or MDL. Sometimes MDL cases are called mass torts. MDL lawsuits are not class actions, as each lawsuit is separate and may resolve for different amounts. Based on the results of early cases, called Bellwether Trials, companies may choose to settle additional cases. Because the success or failure of these first MDL trials can establish the size of settlements, they are very important. Every plaintiff has his or her own lawyer, and every plaintiff gets their own trial. MDL lawsuits are better than class actions because people experience different damages. For example, a person diagnosed with an early stage of cancer that is quickly treated and the person becomes cancer free is different than someone who undergoes a severe cancer battle and dies. Although both people were harmed by the drug, damages will reflect the severity of the injury.
Multi-district litigation has been used in numerous cases over the years:
- Teva Opioids
- Atrium Hernia Mesh
- IVC Filters
- Stryker Hip Replacements
- Actos (diabetes drug)
MDL can be used for lawsuits other than drugs as well, such as train accidents or airplane crashes. In 2020, a MDL panel heard arguments whether to consolidate 100+ federal court lawsuits accusing insurance companies of wrongfully denying business interruption insurance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Get The Fair Compensation You Deserve For Dangerous Drug Injuries
Don’t take on Big Pharma without an experienced and skilled advocate on your side. Attorney Mark Bringardner has the knowledge and resources to take on complex cases and has had success with product liability and defective product cases. Mark has recovered compensation for victims of dangerous drugs, including:
- Medical care expenses
- Lost earnings / loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering.
Speak to a Dangerous Drug Lawyer in South Carolina Today
We are available to discuss your potential dangerous drug case and legal rights seven days a week. Call us today to arrange your free case evaluation with South Carolina dangerous drug lawyer Mark Bringardner. If we represent you, we will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you in your injury case.