Many people have firsthand experience with personal injury claims involving matters such as motor vehicle accidents. Cases involving pharmaceutical drugs are not as common, and often lead to many questions on the part of potential clients. The attorneys here at Hawkins Bingham & Miller wanted to take a few moments to address some of the most common questions to help you understand more about these kinds of cases.
If I have suffered serious side effects from a prescription drug, do I have a case against the drug manufacturer?
Almost all prescription drugs have side effects and some side effects can be serious. Generally, if the drug has been properly tested and the benefits outweigh the side effects the drug will be approved by the FDA. Because most drugs are properly tested and approved by the FDA you don't have a case just because you suffered side effects.
However, if the testing process was inadequate or if the drug company withheld information about the drug or they failed to properly warn about the potential side effects you may have a case even if the drug was approved by the FDA.
Who is responsible for the side effects I have suffered?
The drug company that made the drug, your doctor who prescribed the drug or your pharmacy that filled the prescription could be responsible for the injuries and side effects you suffered.
The drug company could be responsible because their testing was improper or incomplete or because they failed to warn consumers and the physicians who would be prescribing the drugs about all of the important dangerous side effects.
Your doctor could be responsible if he/she prescribed the wrong dosage, failed to tell you about the side effects or potential drug interactions or did not take you off the medicine when you started having the side effects.
Your pharmacist could also be responsible. Pharmacists have a duty to tell you about dangerous side effects and drug interactions.
Can I participate in a class action?
Lawsuits against drug companies fall into three basic categories. Your lawyer may file an individual case on your behalf against the drug company. This is one type of case. A second category is called multi-district litigation. Multi-district litigation occurs when many individual cases involving the same dangerous drug are consolidated into a single court to be handled by a single judge.
A class action is a type of lawsuit where many claimants are allowed to join into a single case against the drug manufacturer. Sometimes thousands of claimants are involved in class action cases.
If there is a class action lawsuit against a drug manufacturer involving a specific dangerous drug and you have been injured by that drug you may be able to join the class action. However, even if you have a right to join the class action you still may have an option to pursue your own individual lawsuit against the drug company. It is important to consult with your lawyer about the course that is best for you.
Schedule A Free Consultation
If you would like to talk to our experienced legal team about your claims, please call our Kingsport, Tennessee, office at 423-398-6841 or send us an email. We will be happy to discuss what we can do to get your case moving forward.