When we hear dangerous drugs, we often associate them with illicit drugs and those that are abused regularly. However, pharmaceutical drug manufacturers may not be transparent as to how their products and their ingredients may cause harmful side effects or if it has a design flaw that may put the lives of their consumers at risk.
Claims: Injuries and Health Effects
Dangerous drug claims can be more complicated than other tort claims. FDA is actively screening every product test results that get into the market, however, they are sometimes pressured by lobbyists to approve certain breakthrough drugs without sufficient test results of their long-term effects. This leads to claims against defective or harmful drugs to be filed only years after their use. Consequently, recall for these drugs is done after it has affected thousands of people.
Class Action Lawsuits
If you or your loved ones suffered an injury due to taking a defective drug, consulting with a lawyer to get the due compensation should be one of the first things on your to-do list. Noting that most of the effects manifest years after continued use of the drug, it has already harmed hundreds, if not thousands, of people for that span of time. This means most of those suing for dangerous drug claims may fall under class action lawsuits.
Lawyers may advise you to take a class-action lawsuit in order to raise your case to court. A class action lawsuit is composed of people who have experienced similar side effects or harm from a medical defect or negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Information is available in the Drug Guardians List of Class Actions as well as relevant information about the case. This way the case is handled by a group or a handful of plaintiffs and their lawyers. If you file under these cases you can get compensation, the same as the case tried in the courts.
This type of procedure has the advantage of being an efficient way to progress the case in court. During these proceedings, there is only one judge along with the representative plaintiff and the combined claims of all those affected. The lawyer will be able to work better with having to only communicate with the representative and update the rest of the group regularly with the case’s progress. Compensation will depend on the circumstances and extent of the damage of the drug to the claimant.
Mass Tort – Consolidated Litigation
Many “mass tort” claims are handled in consolidated litigation. Similar to a class-action lawsuit, people with similar effects claim against a single defendant, and the court processes one or a few cases to represent the entire case. But with a class action, the case of the entire group is treated as a single case with one or a handful of plaintiffs while consolidated litigation allows claimants to be compensated according to their individual experience.
With mass tort, the courts involved will consolidate the cases together and appoint a law firm to perform pre-trial work for all plaintiffs. Your lawyer could be part of a team who will conduct discovery investigations, interviews, and other legal actions that will gather evidence of any harm, wrongdoing, or negligence on the part of a pharmaceutical company with the product in question. You will gain an advantage from accounts of other victims and witnesses that can work for your case. After the pre-trial work, a few of the cases will be tried as a bellwether for the rest of the other cases.
Then bellwether cases are then held for trial, the results from the trial will provide information about how the cases fare in trial proceedings. Even if your case won’t be part of this trial, you’ll be directly affected as to how the evidence will be seen by the courts. This, however, will have a double-edged effect because whatever your lawyers will learn from these trials, the defense will also have gained some insight as to how it may take place.
When the results of the bellwether trial come out, many individual cases will be resolved through a settlement while others proceed to a trial in their own jurisdiction. The main takeaway is that the individual and the injured parties will have to specify their circumstance as well as the damages suffered as well as their evidence. Your lawyer will help make your case and its compensation fits the amount of damage you’ve incurred due to the product.
Dangerous drug lawsuits involve powerful entities with ties to the government, and it can be daunting to go against them. But it’s important that you stand for your right and examine your options as to how to proceed in order to obtain justice for yourself and your loved ones.