Many product liability cases in California involve the use of defective pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. While the Food and Drug Administration does have criteria for the testing of drugs and medicines, this does not clear a manufacturer from a liability claim if there is evidence of a defect even in a licensed drug.
There are several things that people should keep in mind when they consider filing such a claim. For example, some pharmaceuticals are “unavoidably unsafe” and so come with potentially harmful side effects as a matter of course. Assuming that the drug comes with an adequate warning and is administered properly, it cannot form the basis for a claim.
Secondly, drug manufacturers have no duty to warn users about unknown side effects. What they can, and must, do is give its information about the drug to the one prescribing the drug so that he or she may provide warnings where appropriate. Manufacturers are, however, expected to update their knowledge about their drugs’ possible side effects and let medical professionals about any new findings.
A long lapse of time from the taking of a harmful drug may create difficulties, such as in cases where a drug was ingested during pregnancy and the evidence of harm has not appeared yet. The same goes for cases of asbestos exposure.
Those who want to see if they can pursue a personal injury lawsuit after being harmed by a drug or medicine may see a lawyer for a case assessment. The lawyer may build the case up with the help of third parties like drug experts. Once the case is ready, victims may have the lawyer negotiate on their behalf for a settlement covering their medical expenses past and future, lost wages, pain and suffering and other legitimate losses.