| Read Time: 6 minutes | Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical Drug Injury Law

Do you have any legal rights if you have experienced an injury or a serious illness after taking a dangerous drug or supplement? If, so you may have been wondering against whom you would file a drug claim. Would it be the pharmacy or the doctor who prescribed the drug? Can you sue a pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug, or even the Food and Drug Administration? Contact an experienced attorney to learn more about your legal options.

Seeking to Sue a Drug Company?

If you or a loved one has been hurt by the negligence of a major drug company, call the award-winning attorneys at MG Law for immediate assistance.

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Common Side Effects of Defective Drugs

Medications can cause a wide range of side effects. Side effects like headaches, drowsiness, and rashes can be minor. They can also be serious and life-threatening. Some of the most severe side effects leading to lawsuits include the following: 

  • Increased risk of developing cancer,
  • Dizziness,
  • Loss of concentration,
  • Extreme fatigue,
  • Chronic pain,
  • Congenital disabilities,
  • Stunted growth,
  • Stroke,
  • Increased risk of heart attack,
  • Blood clots,
  • Suicidal thoughts or increased risk of suicide,
  • Trouble breathing,
  • Liver failure,
  • Kidney failure, 
  • Brain hemorrhaging,
  • Severe and uncontrollable bleeding, and
  • Death.

Can you sue for medication side effects? Yes. However, you do not have grounds for a lawsuit for the side effects unless you establish a claim based on a defective design, a manufacturing defect, or a claim that warnings are defective. 

Your attorney must be able to prove the following: 

  • The drug was defective; 
  • The defective drug’s condition was responsible for causing the injury or death; 
  • The alleged defects existed at the time the drug left the defendant’s control; and 
  • The drug was being used as intended by or foreseeable to its manufacturer.

If your attorney can establish these elements, you likely have the basis for a claim.

Can You Sue the FDA?

The United States Food and Drug Administration has the responsibility of protecting the health of the citizens by regulating drugs, medical devices, vaccines, cosmetics, and gene therapies. Along with that, the FDA is responsible for animal medications and animal feed.
Compounded drugs from your local pharmacy are not subject to the approval of the FDA, and often other drugs are only reviewed after they have been placed on the market. The FDA was established in 1906, and since that time, thousands of dangerous drugs have been put on the market. Some have caused harmful and severe side effects and even wrongful deaths.
One would assume after approving a dangerous drug or over-the-counter medicine that caused impairment to you or a family member that filing a negligence lawsuit would be an option. But can the FDA be held liable? Probably not. The FDA has sovereign immunity as it is a government agency. Sovereign immunity means that government agencies cannot be sued unless the government agency permits it. The government rarely allows this to happen.

Pharmaceutical Drug Companies

Before 2013, a pharmaceutical company or a drug manufacturer could be sued. Any serious side effects, injuries, illnesses, or deaths would mean a lawsuit. Countless millions of dollars were paid in drug lawsuit settlements.
However, in 2013 the United States Supreme Court made a historic ruling that once a drug has been approved by the FDA individuals are no longer permitted to sue the drug manufacturers, even though it has been confirmed or proven that the drug did cause harm. So, primarily after the FDA has approved a drug, seeking compensation from a pharmaceutical drug company can be challenging. To ensure the best chance of a successful claim and to explore your legal options, contact an experienced injury lawyer specializing in defective drugs. 

Doctors and Pharmacists

You are forbidden to file a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer or the Food And Drug Administration. You are allowed, however, to sue your pharmacy or your doctor if you were prescribed a hazardous or dangerous drug that caused you a loss or endangerment.

Physician Liability

A medical malpractice lawsuit and a drug lawsuit are distinctly different.
A lawsuit due to an injury or illness caused by the negligence of the doctor that prescribed the medications is considered to be medical malpractice.
If a patient can confirm or prove the negligence of the doctor was the direct cause of the illness or injury, the patient may expect compensation for his or her losses. If the negligence is an extreme case, a deceased or injured patient’s family may be granted compensation for any punitive damages.

Pharmacy Liability

Pharmacists receive comprehensive training and education and are expected to be familiar with each one of the medications they dispense. Additionally, pharmacists should be educated about any potentially harmful side effects of any drugs if they are taken together. A legal duty of care is the responsibility of the pharmacist.    
The doctor and the pharmacist should work together to be certain that a drug prescribed will not injure or do harm to the patient.
The pharmacist and doctor are responsible for working together to make sure a prescribed drug will not damage the patient. If the communication is limited between a pharmacist and a doctor, the patient is the one who is affected the most.
As the patient and the consumer, you have a legitimate expectation and right to depend on the expertise of your pharmacist who filled the prescription and the doctor who wrote the prescription. When they fail to protect you from harm, and you experience drug injuries caused by pharmaceuticals, you have a right to seek compensation.

The Attorney’s Role In Drug Company Lawsuits

Any drug or medical lawsuit requires legal representation.
Pharmacies and doctors will rarely admit to any fault and are commonly defended by considerably large insurance companies with unlimited funds. The help and support of an experienced lawyer will assist you in handling a claim like this.
A skilled attorney can take the depositions, subpoena any records and documents, hire expert witnesses, and anyone else who will be able to help your case.

What Compensation for Drug Side Effects Can I Receive?

If you experience adverse effects from the use of a defective pharmaceutical product, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. The compensation available to you may include the following: 

  • Cost of current and past medical bills,
  • Cost of future medical bills,
  • Lost wages,
  • Rehabilitation costs,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of consortium, and 
  • Wrongful death damages.

This compensation can restore your life and pay for the expenses you have already incurred, as well as any future costs. Liable parties need to be held accountable for the injury they caused.

How Long Do You Have to Sue a Drug Company?

A statute of limitations determines how long you have to bring your case for side effects caused by defective drugs. The statute of limitations for bringing a claim for a defective drug varies by state. For example, under Georgia law, victims of defective pharmaceutical products have two years from the date of injury to take legal action. Certain exceptions will apply. Your lawyer can identify any statute of limitation issue associated with your case. You can only bring your claim if you bring a suit within the applicable statute of limitations. So don’t delay contacting MG Law.

Contact Our Lawyers Today

Can you sue drug companies? Yes, you can. If you have endured a dangerous side effect or illness due to a drug, seek the professional help and counsel of an injury attorney as soon as possible. Save your receipts, pill bottles, and medical records. You must establish and prove the injury or harm you suffered from taking the drug. Bring the evidence you have with you when you meet with your attorney.

MG Law can help you recover the maximum amount from those that caused your injury. If you have suffered adverse side effects due to a defective drug, pursuing recovery can be confusing if you go at it alone. Let us help. You pay nothing unless your case is successful. 

Please allow one of the MG Law attorneys to represent you and take on the company that puts profits ahead of your well-being. Call or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers. 

Have you been harmed or injured from the negligence of a drug company? You have rights! Call us today and check out our reviews!

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Michael Geoffroy’s law practice focuses on auto collisions, premises liability, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury, and he stands up for the cause of justice throughout Georgia and on behalf of his clients every day. He is a leader in both the courtroom and the community, having been recognized numerous times for his involvement in each.