Misbranding occurs if manufacturers place a label on their product that is misleading or confusing, or if the label does not correspond to the proper product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very strict rules regarding products, especially food products, drugs and medicines, and medical devices. For instance, federal labeling laws require that medical device labels:
- Not be false or misleading
- Must contain any wording that the FDA has required to appear on the label
- Must contain accurate instructions regarding the correct use of the device
- Not contain any instructions or recommendations that can cause health risks
Injuries and other dangerous risks can occur if a product is not clearly labeled. Common injuries associated with misbranding include:
- Exposure to food allergens or ingesting food that one is allergic to
- Taking a medication in the wrong way (i.e., the wrong dosage, wrong timing, or taking medication for the wrong condition)
- Exposure to risk regarding weight, age, or other limitations associated with the product
- Various other risks
Who can be Held Liable for Injuries Resulting from Misbranding Issues?
Several different parties can be held liable for injuries caused by a misbranded product. These can include:
- Manufactures of the product who have created the labels- they can often be held liable under a warning label defect, which is a type of product defect claim
- Pharmacies or pharmacists: in some cases, pharmacies are required to place labels or instructions on drugs and medical devices; they can be held liable for certain mislabeling incidents
Retailers can sometimes be held liable for injuries if they know or should have known of any products in their store that have been misbranded. If they continue to sell the product and fail to remove it from shelves, they may be held liable for a violation.
Are There any Legal Remedies for a Misbranding Injury Case?
Misbranding cases can be complex and may require legal action to resolve a dispute. In these types of lawsuits, the remedy will typically involve a monetary damages award. This is intended to compensate the injured person for losses like medical bills, hospital stay expenses, medication costs, and other related losses like lost wages from missing work. In cases involving severe negligence with the misbranding, punitive damages may also be issued as well.
Most of the time, misbranding will result in a product recall in order to avoid further injury to consumers. Also, class action lawsuits can be filed if several consumers are all injured by the same misbranding issue.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Misbranding Lawsuit?
Misbranding lawsuits can be complex and may require the assistance of a legal professional. It may be in your best interests to hire a personal injury attorney in your area if you need help with a misbranding lawsuit. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and research for your case, and can also represent you during the legal process.