Pharmaceutical / Prescription Drug Liability Claims Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

Pharmaceutical Lawsuit Complexity

Even if you follow the physician’s orders to a tee, prescription drugs can cause injuries and even death if the drug has a manufacturing defect or serious side effect that consumers are not warned about.

Because there are many people involved in the distribution of prescription drugs, pharmaceutical product liability lawsuits are extremely complex and take time to prove negligence. Parties include those who test and manufacture, sales representatives or distributors, pharmacies, hospitals – even a doctor or a nurse can be found negligent. To add more complexity, a prescription drug product liability case can also become a medical malpractice claim. With all of the complexities, research and navigation involved, it’s highly advisable to consult with our Chicago attorney who understands product liability and medical malpractice claims. This increases your chances of holding those responsible fully liable and securing the maximum compensation.

Pharmaceutical Product Liability Types

As with any product liability case, claims are divided into three types: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn. While cases are divided, they may also involve one or more types of claims.

  • Manufacturing Defects: This type of claim occurs when the drug has been improperly manufactured or became tainted during the production process. Liability would typically fall between the actual manufacturing of the drug all the way to where it was sold.
  • Design Defects: Claims relating to design defects occur when those taking the drug experience side effects resulting in serious injury, illness or even death. Victims may claim the company knew about the side effects and did not disclose the risks. This is especially true for drugs that have been on the market for a long period of time.
  • Failure to Warn: When victims of a bad drug believe that the pharmaceutical company did not accurately provide instructions, adequate warnings about the proper use, or even exaggerated the drugs capabilities, they may file a claim. While there’s some similarities between failure to warn and design defects, the difference is the volume of evidence. In the case of a design defect, all of the drugs will have the same defect. In failure to warn clams, there will be variations from consumer to consumer.

Pharmaceutical Case Examples

Most manufacturing defect claims are strict liability claims meaning, victims are only required to prove a defect, causation, and damages. For example, if a pharmacist makes an error in the quantity or in the proportions of the prescribed medication and the user becomes severely ill then, the user can sue the pharmacist for negligence and potentially recover compensation for medical care, lost wages, etc.

While manufacturers have a responsibility and duty to test the drugs and medicines before releasing them to the public. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines and criteria when it comes to drug testing but, even if the drug was properly licensed by the FDA, it has no effect on the manufacturer’s liability to an injured plaintiff, if the drug proves to be otherwise defective.

  • Long-Term Side Effects: In some cases, manufacturers are aware of the long-term side effects of prescription drugs that are unreasonably dangerous.
  • Minor Injury: If the manufacturer fails to warn of certain side effects, but the user injuries are relatively minor, it may be more advantageous to file a class action suit versus an individual lawsuit due to time and effort for a lawyer to recover a smaller settlement.
  • Unavoidably Unsafe: Some prescription drugs cannot be made completely safe, no matter how carefully they are manufactured and therefore are labeled “unavoidably unsafe”. These drugs may have potentially harmful side effects, but the benefit may outweigh the risk to the patient. If such drugs are properly prepared and accompanied by adequate warnings, they usually cannot form the basis of a successful products liability lawsuit.
  • Time Lapse: In some drug-related injury cases, the plaintiff will not be able to identify the precise manufacturer or supplier of the defective product because of the time that has elapsed and evidence is no longer available. In these types of cases, there’s a long latency period and the damage may not become apparent for years. A great example of a time lapse is with asbestos-exposure.

If you’ve experienced any injury as a result of prescription drugs, contact our attorney in Chicago for a free case review. Even relatively minor injuries can result in pursuing a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer for failure to warn of certain side effects.

Contact us today to get started with a free and confidential case assessment by calling ‌855-980-0078 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌

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