Who Can You File a Lawsuit Against for a Dangerous Drug?

Posted By Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci || 4-Nov-2016

The market for prescription medication has expanded dramatically over the past few decades. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans use at least one prescription drug every month. The CDC study also reported this number increased nearly 11% from 1988 to 2012. As the use of medications continues to rise, the danger for hazardous drugs and harmful side effects may also increase. While victims injured by dangerous drugs can seek monetary compensation, the liable parties can vary for each case. Typically, lawsuits will fall under product liability or medical malpractice.

Parties who may be liable for hazardous medications can include:

  • Medical companies
  • Prescribing doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Drug manufacturers

Product Liability

The legal theory of product liability states that manufacturers, retailers, and distributors all have a duty to ensure that their products are free from defects. When a consumer is injured due to a faulty or defective product, they may seek monetary compensation from the responsible party. In a medical product claim, who can be sued depends on when the negligence occurred during a drug’s lifecycle.

In a product liability claim, defects are divided into three categories:

  1. Design defects refer to problems which exist or are created during a products design. If a product’s creator does not take steps to rectify a design flaw, they may be held accountable for injuries.
  2. Marketing defects occur when a drug company fails to properly warn consumers about a drug’s potential health risks or grossly misrepresents the uses of a drug,
  3. Manufacturing defects happen during the actual production process. Even if the design and marketing are done correctly, manufacturing mistakes can still lead to harm.

Medical Malpractice

In addition to drug manufacturers and producers, doctors and other medical workers may also incur liability for injuries. To seek damages in a medical malpractice claim, it must be shown that the negligence of medical staff, such as a doctor or pharmacist, directly led to the damages suffered by the victim. For example, if a doctor ignored pharmaceutical warnings, did not properly inform a patient about a medication’s side effects, or did not check for possible negative drug interactions, they may be held liable for the resulting injuries.

Award-Winning Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured due to dangerous prescription medications, Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci want to talk to you. Whether you are pursuing a medical malpractice or product liability claim, our Four States personal injury attorneys possess the knowledge and tools to help you seek justice. For our tireless dedication to clients and legal ability, our team has earned the recognition of prestigious legal organizations such as Martindale-Hubbell® and Super Lawyers®.

Call (417) 313-1130 or request a FREE case evaluation online to speak with attorneys backed by more than 140 years of collective experience.

We are proud to represent clients throughout Joplin, Springfield, and Rogers/Bentonville.