Antacids are specific medicines or substances that are intended to neutralize the acidity of the stomach. They are used to treat conditions such as:
- Acid reflux;
- Upset stomach;
- Indigestion; and
- Other digestive and GI tract symptoms.
Antacids can be obtained both through prescription and over-the-counter, such as Nexium. In terms of injuries, they have been associated with various side effects and injuries such as:
- Kidney issues, such as kidney failure;
- Issues associated with osteoporosis;
- Malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients; and
- Issues associated with bowel movements.
In some cases, these side effects are considerably severe and result in long-term injury to the user. Additionally, some antacid products have been the subject of product recalls.
Who May Be Held Liable For Injuries Resulting From Antacid Use?
Antacids are generally safe to use; however, as with most medicines, injuries can still occur from their use. There are various parties which may be held liable for injuries associated with the use of harmful antacids.
The manufacturer of an antacid product may be held liable for injuries caused by product defects. Product liability refers to the manufacturer, retailer, or seller of a product being held liable for allowing a defective product to reach the consumer. This is regardless of the consumer’s own negligence in the matter. Laws associated with product liability intend to determine who exactly is responsible for defective or dangerous products.
An example of this would be an antacid’s manufacturer being held liable for placing a defective or harmful product into the stream of commerce. However, all parties who are involved in the distribution chain of the antacid may be found guilty of product liability.
State laws governing product liability claims can vary widely. However, there is a set of commercial statutes in each state that are modeled after the Uniform Commercial Code, which contain warranty rules affecting product liability.
Defective products are defined as being unreasonably dangerous when being used for its intended purpose, without any alterations or interference. A defective product causes injury to a person because of either a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a marketing defect.
In order to prove product liability, the injured plaintiff will need to prove the following elements:
- The antacid was defective upon being manufactured;
- The medicine’s manufacturer, seller, or distributor intended for the product to reach the plaintiff without making any changes to the process; and
- The plaintiff was injured in some way by the antacid.
An example of this would be when the antacid product does not adhere to proper procedures regarding warning labels and instructions. The product will likely be recalled as well.
Can I Sue For Medical Malpractice?
Medical professionals may be held liable for prescription errors involving antacids. A prescription error is a specific type of medical malpractice in which a doctor makes a mistake in prescribing a drug to a patient.
The most common examples of prescription errors committed by doctors include, but may not be limited to:
- Prescribing the wrong drug to the wrong patient;
- Prescribing the correct drug but at the wrong dosage;
- Prescribing a medication that the patient is allergic to; and
- Prescribing medications that are incompatible with each other, or with medications that the patient is already taking.
It is considerably difficult to succeed in a lawsuit for a prescription error, as proving that the harm suffered was the consequence of the prescription error is a difficult task in and of itself. Simply proving that you have suffered some harm and that the doctor has committed an error is not sufficient in terms of winning a lawsuit. Rather, you will need to show that if the doctor had not made the prescription error, you would not have suffered from your current harm.
An example of this would be if a doctor prescribes the wrong antacid product to a patient. They may be held liable for injuries resulting from the error, as these types of errors are particularly dangerous in that they can lead to overdose and fatal responses.
Whether you can sue your doctor for malpractice if they prescribed harmful antacids depends largely on your specific circumstances. This also depends on the various rules and requirements of medical malpractice laws enacted in each specific state.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, other medical professional, and/or healthcare organization fail to uphold the standard duty of care required when managing, diagnosing, or treating a patient. This failure then results in an injury to that patient. This deviation from the standard duty of care required of all medical professionals is generally associated with an act of negligence.
Medical malpractice liability refers to which persons and/or organizations can be held legally responsible for a patient’s injuries. Generally speaking, this party is the one who breached their duty of care and was the actual cause of the patient’s injuries. However, determining exactly who was in fact liable can be a challenge due to the fact that medical malpractice liability frequently involves more than one party.
Are There Any Legal Remedies For Antacid Injuries?
When an injured person files a lawsuit for injuries associated with antacid use, remedies are generally similar to those awarded in other personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases. Compensatory damages are intended to return the injured person to the position they were in before the harm or loss occurred. Because of this, compensatory damages are awarded in cases resulting in damages, injury, or loss.
Special damages generally include damages that are quantifiable and can be calculated. Examples of special damages include:
- Medical expenses;
- Property damage; and
- Loss of wages or earnings.
General damages may be awarded for losses that cannot easily be determined through monetary calculations. These can include losses associated with:
In order to receive compensatory damages, the plaintiff will need to prove that a loss has in fact occurred, and that that loss was caused by the defendant. They must show that the defendant’s conduct is what caused the loss or injury. To do so, you will want to gather various forms of evidence that can be used in court to support your case. Examples may include:
- Statements from relevant witnesses;
- Photos or video of the accident or incident;
- Medical bills;
- Physical evidence; and
- Any item or evidence that can help the court when calculating your damages.
In terms of medical malpractice, damages in medical malpractice lawsuits generally cover three areas:
- Economic Damages: Monetary amounts that can be measured and specifically calculated based on a particular harm. This includes medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, etc.;
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate as they refer to intangible or somewhat immeasurable injuries. This includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of activities, reputational damage, etc.; and/or
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are rarely ever awarded, and are only recognized for such lawsuits in a handful of states. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for their negligence.
Some other remedies that a plaintiff may request include:
- Having a medical professional’s license suspended;
- Having a medical professional’s license revoked; and
- Requiring that a medical facility update their policies and/or health and safety procedures.
Do I Need An Attorney For An Antacid Injury Lawsuit?
If you believe you have a claim associated with antacid injury, medical malpractice, or the like, you should consult with an experienced and local personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you determine your best legal options according to your state’s specific laws, and will also be able to represent you in court, as needed.