Dangerous Drugs

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Los Angeles Defective Drug Attorneys

Harmed by a dangerous drug? Call (866) 884-1717 for experienced legal representation!

Even the strictest tests for pharmaceuticals cannot catch all manufacturing mistakes or contamination issues that might occur down the line. Nor can they catch every potential side effect that may become more noticeable in a larger subject pool. However, in some cases, manufacturers conceal or downplay dangers attached to certain drugs in order to make a profit.

Whether a drug uses an active ingredient that can harm people or was contaminated during manufacturing, those who are given defective medications may end up with lasting side effects. These products can be to blame for symptoms including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney damage and failure
  • Liver damage and failure
  • Birth defects

If you or a loved one was injured by a recalled drug, contact our Los Angeles drug injury lawyers today to pursue compensation.

Holding Pharmaceutical Companies Accountable for Dangerous Drugs

The primary responsibility often falls on the pharmaceutical company that designs, manufactures, and markets the drug. If there are defects in the drug's design, manufacturing process, or if there are insufficient warnings about potential risks, the manufacturer may be held liable.

It seems antithetical that an industry dedicated to helping the unwell may cause more harm. If you have suffered severe side effects from a drug you were told was safe, it is okay to feel hurt, angry, and betrayed. You should know that you are not alone in this situation—and there is help.

At Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation, our Los Angeles defective drug attorneys believe in holding companies accountable when they make choices that hurt consumers. Pharmaceutical companies often choose profits over people by ignoring warning signs and bypassing testing. If you are one of the patients affected by their negligence, you could have the right to take them to court. Not only can patients in this situation receive compensation; they can also warn others of the dangers attached to certain drugs or companies.

Types of Drug Defect Claims

A defective drug claim refers to a legal action taken by an individual who has suffered harm or injury as a result of using a pharmaceutical product that is believed to be defective or unsafe. These claims typically arise when a person experiences adverse effects, health complications, or injuries due to a medication's design, manufacturing, labeling, or marketing.

If you were prescribed a pharmaceutical drug that caused injury, you may have a defective product claim. While claims involving pharmaceutical drugs are similar to most other defective product claims, these types of claims have a few key differences.

  • Defectively Manufactured Pharmaceutical Drugs: This type of claim specifically addresses drugs that, at some point in its manufacture, an error occurs and the drug becomes tainted. This type of error can take place at any time while the drug is being made, bottled, shipped, or labeled. In short, a defect in manufacture can occur at any point between the factory and the place where you picked up your prescription.
  • Dangerous Side Effects: Even if the drug was manufactured properly, there’s a chance that its side effects cause injury. Usually, these types of cases involve drugs that have been in the pharmaceutical market for an extended period of time before people began realizing its dangers. In these types of cases, the plaintiff may claim that the drug manufacturer not only knew of the danger, but continued to manufacture the drug and attempted to hide its dangerous side effects.
  • Improperly Marketed Pharmaceutical Drugs: Marketing refers to the drug’s warnings, instructions, and recommendation of using the drug. Claims that are filed due to improper marketing typically include drugs that failed to disclose accurate side effect warnings or instructions on how to take the drug. “Bad advice” from a doctor, pharmacist, or medical provider can also be considered improper marketing.

Individuals who have suffered harm due to a defective drug may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages through a defective drug claim.

A Los Angeles dangerous drug lawyer from our firm can determine what type of defect claim you have and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Who Else Can Be Held Liable in a Defective Drug Claim?

Aside from pharmaceutical companies, various other parties can be held liable for a dangerous drug claim, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Here are some of the key entities that may be held responsible:

  • Distributors and Retailers: Entities involved in the distribution chain, such as wholesalers and retailers, may be held liable if they were aware of potential dangers associated with the drug but failed to take appropriate actions, such as issuing recalls or providing adequate warnings to consumers.
  • Healthcare Professionals: In some cases, healthcare professionals who prescribed or administered the drug may face liability if they were aware of potential risks associated with the drug but did not adequately inform the patient or failed to monitor the patient's response to the medication.
  • Testing Laboratories: If a drug undergoes testing before being released to the market, the testing laboratory may be held liable if it failed to identify and report potential dangers associated with the drug.
  • Marketing and Advertising Agencies: Entities involved in the marketing and promotion of the drug may be held responsible if they engaged in misleading or false advertising, downplayed risks, or failed to provide accurate information about the drug.
  • Regulatory Agencies: In some cases, regulatory agencies responsible for approving and monitoring drugs may face criticism if there is evidence that they did not adequately assess the risks associated with the drug or failed to take appropriate regulatory actions.

Determining liability in dangerous drug claims can be complex, and multiple parties may share responsibility. Legal actions in these cases often involve thorough investigations, expert testimony, and consideration of applicable laws and regulations.

Proving Liability in a Defective Drug Claim

In California, strict liability laws play a crucial role in defective drug claims. Strict liability is a legal doctrine that holds parties responsible for injuries caused by their products, regardless of whether they were negligent. The application of strict liability in defective drug cases means that a plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant was negligent; they only need to demonstrate that the drug was defective and that the defect caused harm.

ImportantĀ elements of strict liability laws in California relevant to defective drug claims include:

  1. Defective Product: To establish strict liability, the plaintiff must show that the drug was defective in design, manufacturing, or marketing. There are three types of defects recognized under California law: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
  2. Causation: The plaintiff must demonstrate a causal connection between the defect and the injuries suffered. It must be shown that the defect was a substantial factor in causing the harm.
  3. Injuries: The plaintiff must have suffered actual harm or injuries as a result of using the defective drug. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, and other damages.
  4. Product's Condition When Sold: Strict liability applies to the product's condition when it is sold. This means that if a drug is defective at the time it reaches the consumer, the parties involved in the chain of distribution may be held strictly liable.

California's strict liability laws are codified under the California Civil Code, particularly in sections 1714 and 1714.45. These laws provide a legal basis for individuals harmed by defective drugs to seek compensation from responsible parties.

When is a Drug Recalled?

A drug is typically recalled if it:

  • introduces dangers that were not warned for,
  • includes contamination,
  • lacks proper packaging or labeling, and/or
  • faces new evidence that it may harm humans,

Often, these recalls come too late for many patients. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP ) analyzed FDA data and determined that around 27% of drugs are given new warnings or taken off the market in the first 16 years after their introduction. These protective measures typically do not occur until 5 years have passed. Over this time, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of patients may be prescribed medications that harm them in some way.

    Who Chooses When a Drug Recall is Issued?

    One report of a dangerous side effect isn’t enough for a drug to be pulled off the shelf. In fact, all drug recalls are made at the discretion of the manufacturer. The FDA can recommend dangerous drugs be pulled from the shelves and issue warnings to consumers, but they cannot force pharmacies and stores to stop selling the products or contact patients who are already taking them. This means consumers can be exposed to drugs that are already known to be dangerous—just because a pharmaceutical company wants to keep making money by selling them.

    The FDA also has limited resources to analyze drugs and issue recalls. Between 2016 and 2018, the rate of manufacturer inspections in the U.S. decreased by almost 15%. Third-party labs may step up to share worrisome test results, which is what launched the Zantac recall, but they are not a source for regular examination of all drugs on the market. This is the reason many harmful drugs have slipped through the regulatory net and made it into patients’ medicine cabinets.

    For a full list of current recalled drugs, visit the FDA's website, or call our drug recall attorneys in Los Angeles to see if you have a case.

    Classes of Drug Recalls

    Not all drug recalls have the same level of urgency. The FDA assigns a class to each so pharmacies, physicians, and consumers know how serious the issue is.

    • Class 1: These recalls apply to medications or devices that could include flaws that would be fatal to patients.
    • Class 2: Most recalls are in this class, meaning they can cause serious, but reversible, symptoms.
    • Class 3: Often, drugs recalled under this category are unlikely to cause harm but may include manufacturing defects.
    • Market Withdrawal: Used for medications that have negligible issues, a market withdrawal can result in products being removed from the shelf or a slight change in process to address a minor complaint.

    Drug Recalls That May Affect You

    Among the hundreds of drugs recalled each year, some are for niche medications that serve a small patient population. Others may be widespread but carry low risks of serious symptoms. Our attorneys focus on helping patients who used medications with severe side effects. We’ve filed claims surrounding:

    • Essure
    • Tadalafil
    • Taxotere
    • Truvada
    • Valsartan
    • Zantac

    If you show symptoms that have already been linked to a defective drug or have been taking a medication that receives a Class 1 or 2 recall, we suggest you speak with an attorney. If you develop severe health issues, you may be able to ask a negligent manufacturer to cover your medical costs and more.

    Are you looking for help with your complaint about a dangerous drug? Reach out for a free consultation by calling (866) 884-1717 or sending us a message.

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