Every year in the United States thousands of people are injured, even killed, because of side-effects caused by prescription drugs. If you have suffered injuries, or you have lost a loved one, as a result of deadly side-effects from a prescription drug you may be wondering if you have the basis for a lawsuit. Only an experienced Louisiana products liability attorney can review the specifics of your potential case and provide you with an answer to that question; however, it may help to have a basic understanding of the law that applies to situations where side-effects from prescription drugs cause injuries.
Medications routinely come with side-effects. Many of those side-effects are relatively harmless, such as nausea, dry mouth, or constipation. Some side-effects, however, can be extremely dangerous. When side-effects cause injuries any litigation that stems from those injuries falls under the purview of the law of product liability.
Product liability law begins with the premise that any product placed into the hands of consumers should be free of defects. Therefore, the manufacturer of a product, including pharmaceuticals, has a duty to ensure that products are defect-free and to warn consumers about any known defects in the product. In the case of prescription medication, it is often impossible to create a product without any potential side-effects, or “defects.” In that case, the manufacturer (and all others in the “chain of distribution”) have a “duty to warn” consumers about the potentially harmful side-effects the product may cause. This is why you often hear a list of possible side-effects listed on televisions commercials for prescription medications. The law requires the manufacturer to warn consumers about all known side-effects of the drug. Failure to warn consumers of potential side-effects will expose the manufacturer to a defective product lawsuit.
For a patient who has been injured by a side-effect, or a survivor who has lost a loved one because of side-effects from prescription medication, the issue usually becomes whether or not the patient was adequately warned about the side-effect that ultimately caused the injury or death. If no warning at all was given, and the side-effect was known to the manufacturer, it is very likely the manufacturer will be held liable for ensuing injuries. If no warning was given but the manufacturer claims to have had no knowledge of the side-effect, the manufacturer may still be held liable if the manufacturer should have known about the side-effect. Finally, if the manufacturer did provide a warning about the side-effect the manufacturer could be held liable is if it is determined that the warning given was inadequate.
Lawsuits based on side-effects from prescription drugs are complex and are very fact specific which is why it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Louisiana product liability attorney right away if you are the victim of a defective drug or the survivor of someone who was killed by a defective drug. Contact the Louisiana product liability attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.