A significant number of product liability suits are related to medicines and drugs. It is the duty of the manufacturers of medicines to conduct the necessary testing on the products as per the criteria set by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) before selling the product to the general public. Even if the product went through the industry-standard testing and received the proper license from the FDA, manufacturers may still be held liable for an injury or harm caused by their product.
Except for over-the-counter medicines, there is usually a need for a learned intermediary between the manufacturer and the end consumer of the drug. This intermediary could be a doctor who would prescribe the drug, a nurse who may provide instructions to the patient on the proper use of the drug, or the pharmacist who sells the prescribed medicine. When an injury occurs due to the use of medicines, it may be challenging to determine who is ultimately liable; this is where the services of an expert products liability attorney would be very helpful.
Unavoidably Unsafe Products
Some prescription drugs are considered as inherently or unavoidably unsafe because there are certain side effects that cannot be avoided despite very careful manufacturing process. Despite the side effects, these drugs are still very beneficial to the user; and if they are properly prepared and presented with adequate information and warnings on the side effects, product liability claims against the manufacturers of such drugs would usually not successful.
Drug Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn
If the drugs that they produce have known side effects, it is the obligation of the manufacturer to provide the adequate warning of such effects, and other possible dangers to using the drug. The manufacturers usually do this by providing this information to doctors who would prescribe the drug and pharmacists.
Drug manufacturers have no duty to warn those who are unusually susceptible to the side effects. Nevertheless, even if a certain reaction is very uncommon, the manufacturer has a duty to inform the medical community and the public of this. Just the same, a person who may experience such an uncommon reaction is not necessarily considered as unusually susceptible.
Time Lapse Issues
There are times when the injury may not be apparent until a certain period of time has passed. Some examples are those who have taken a certain drug during pregnancy and the effects on the child become apparent only after the child grows up; another is exposure to asbestos where the injury will only show after a certain time. Because of this, plaintiffs may not be able to properly identify the manufacturer or supplier of the defective product nor have the necessary pieces of evidence preserved.
During such instances, the burden of proof may be shifted to the defendant. The defendant will have to prove that they cannot be liable for the injuries, or that there are other manufacturers who may share the liability.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act provides a relief for those who have been injured because of childhood vaccines without having to go through the whole process of a lawsuit which could be expensive and time-consuming. Your lawyer has the duty to inform you of such injuries and possible recovery under this Act.
Defective Product Injury – Get Legal Help
Product liability claims are never simple. It requires the establishment of legal fault which would oftentimes require expert testimony and assistance. There are also a lot of possible theories that may apply to a certain case and defenses that could counter those claims. In addition to that, each state has its own laws on product liability. Consult with an experienced product liability attorney in your area for more information and guidance.