Despite the marvels of modern medicine, drug manufacturers still make mistakes that lead to drug recalls. Unfortunately, some patients suffer serious and even life-threatening problems before they’re aware of a drug recall. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you build evidence and file a robust personal injury lawsuit.
This piece will examine when patients who have been affected by drug recalls can pursue a personal injury claim and how. We’ll also look at how getting the best lawyers for personal injury can help you build a strong case, and secure, reasonable claim amounts.
Types of drug recalls
A Drug Recall is a voluntary action taken by a company to remove a defective or potentially harmful drug product from the market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies drug recalls into three types based on the relative degree of health hazard posed by the drug:
- Class I: when there’s reasonable probability the drug will cause serious health consequences or death;
- Class II: when the drug may cause temporary adverse health consequences;
- Class III: when the drug is unlikely to cause any adverse health consequences, but that violates labeling or manufacturing laws.
Here are some of the most publicized drug recalls in history:
- Merck recalled its arthritis drug Vioxx from the market in 2004 after a study found patients who took it for at least eighteen months were prone to heart attacks and strokes. The drugmaker settled 27,000 lawsuits for $4.85 billion in 2007.
- Johnson & Johnson recalled Tylenol bottles laced with potassium cyanide in 1982, which killed seven people in Chicago. The brand spent over $100 million on recalling 31 million Tylenol bottles and relaunching them.
Possible grounds for a drug recall
Drug recalls may be conducted on a company’s own initiative or by FDA request under the following circumstances:
- the drug or its specific constituents are injurious to the user’s health;
- the drug is promoted without a recognized therapeutic value, causing injury or health concerns;
- the drug packaging or labeling fails to provide sufficient drug use/dosage instructions for the user;
- the drug is subject to manufacturing defects that alter the medication; and
- the drug fails to conform to the legislation administered by the Health Products and Food Branch.
What to do if you have a recalled drug
There were 70 drug recalls issued per year between 2017 and 2019 in the United States. You may learn about the potential recall of the medicine you’re consuming through news media, a public notification from the manufacturer, your health-care professional, or pharmacist.
Here’s what you must do upon learning that you’re a victim:
- Understand the details of the drug recall and gauge if it’s only for a specific age group/demographics, and accordingly calculate if there’s any medical and financial impact on you.
- Consider reaching out to your health-care professional about the best course of action for your health.
- Explore the terms and conditions for the drug return at the store.
- Speak to a personal injury attorney if you intend to file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation for your economic and health damages.
- Collate and save all the relevant evidence that helps the attorney find suitable grounds for a defective drug claim.
How legal representation can help you with a personal injury claim
Lawsuits can be stressful and complicated, especially when it involves medical malpractice. Here’s when and how an expert lawyer can build and strengthen your personal injury lawsuit:
- If you’re suffering from a drug recall and looking to file a personal injury claim, but unsure how to take the next best legal step.
- If you want to claim compensation from the seller/manufacturer but are confused about calculating your medical expenses or lost wages owing to recalled medication.
- If you’re unclear about the kind of proof you must keep or witness you must arrange for filing a defective drug claim.
- If you’re worried about how much to recover to compensate you appropriately for your injury or suffering.