Drugs include medication prescribed by a doctor, such as Coumadin, Actiq, Zostavax, and Xarelto, as well as medication you can buy over the counter. Medical devices include Minera IUDs, pacemakers, duodenoscopes, surgical robots, hip replacements, transvaginal mesh, Zimmer Persona implants, heart-valve replacements, Bair Hugger warming blankets, and other devices used to improve your health.
Injured by a Drug or Medical Device
If you are injured by a drug or a medical device, you should first figure out who is responsible for the injury. There are a number of people who could be liable, from the manufacturer of the drug or device, to the doctor who prescribed it, to the pharmacist who sold it to you. Each of these people has obligations toward you under the law.
Manufacturers of both prescription drugs and medical devices have two basic duties. They have to:
- Research and understand the side effects, dangers, and risks of using the drug or device
- Inform the public of the side effects, dangers, and risks associated with the drug or device
If the manufacturer fails at either of these duties, they can be liable. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with evaluating drugs that manufacturers want to put on the market. FDA approval alone, however, does not mean that the drug is safe. Nor does it relieve a drug manufacturer from liability if the drug is later found to be unsafe.
Doctors also can be responsible for prescribing unsafe drugs or medical devices. Physicians are obligated to tell the patient about the risks associated with drugs or devices they prescribe. If a doctor fails to tell you about a risk that they area ware of and you suffer an injury as a result of the risk, then they alone can be liable for your injury.
Pharmacists can also be liable if they make a mistake filling the prescription. If a pharmacist gives you the wrong drug and you suffer an injury as a result, then the pharmacist may be liable.
I Know Who Is Responsible for My Injury – What Should I Do Now?
Suing the responsible party is the only way to recover damages for your injury caused by a defective drugs or medical device.
- If a manufacturer is responsible, you should file a product liability lawsuit against them, such as suing Bayer for manufacturing Essure or suing Roche for making Avastin.
- If a physician is responsible, you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.
- If the pharmacist is responsible, you can file a negligence lawsuit against the pharmacist and the pharmacy for your injuries.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me With My Drug or Medical Device Lawsuit?
Lawsuits involving drugs or medical devices can be very complex due to their scientific nature. Additionally, each state has different laws regarding drugs and medical devices. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the value of your case, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.