St. Charles Dangerous Drugs Lawyer
Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars every year developing products and bringing them to market, a process that involves testing the products to determine their safety and effectiveness. Even with these safety measures in place, harmful drugs still sometimes get through the testing and regulatory processes and make their way to the market, where they can harm unsuspecting patients.
When someone suffers harm because of a defective drug, a personal injury attorney could help them claim damages against the manufacturer, distributor, pharmacist, or physician. There are several liability theories that could help an injured consumer, depending on their particular circumstances. Consulting with a St. Charles dangerous drugs lawyer as soon as the effects of a harmful drug become apparent could be an injured person’s best option to recover damages.
Strict Liability for Certain Drug Defects
Missouri Revised Statute §537.760 states that manufacturers are liable for the damages their products cause if an injured person (the plaintiff) can demonstrate that the product was defective. This is called strict liability because the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence, only that a manufacturer put an unreasonably dangerous product into the stream of commerce. This theory is helpful to plaintiffs when a pharmaceutical company can show that they engaged in extensive testing before releasing a product on the market.
What Must a Plaintiff Prove in a Dangerous Drugs Claim?
To show that a product is defective, the plaintiff must prove that it was unreasonably dangerous. A plaintiff can do that with the help of a local attorney by showing that a mistake was made when creating the dangerous drug, such as:
- An error in the manufacturing process that tainted a particular batch of the drug
- An error in design that made all batches of the drug dangerous to everyone, or to certain classes of people
- Inadequate labelling that did not properly inform consumers of the risks of the drug, or failed to provide enough information to allow consumers to evaluate their individual risk
The plaintiff must prove that they used the drug in a way that the manufacturer could reasonably anticipate, which is different from requiring that the plaintiff use the drug in accordance with label directions. If it is reasonable to assume that a patient might use the drug in another way, by taking repeat doses more frequently than the label recommends, for example, a manufacturer could possibly be liable even if the patient did not follow package directions.
How is Negligence Established in Drug Injury Cases?
When someone fails in an obligation and that failure results in an injury to another, the person who breached a duty is negligent. The person who is injured because of someone else’s negligence could make a claim for damages against the negligent person.
In drug injury cases, a plaintiff might bring a negligence claim against a pharmacist if the pharmacist made an error in filling a prescription and the error caused the plaintiff’s injury. Similarly, an injured patient could bring a negligence claim against a medical professional who prescribed the drug that injured them. A dangerous drugs lawyer in the area could advise a plaintiff about whether it is appropriate to bring a negligence claim instead of, or in addition to, a claim under a strict liability theory.
If a pharmaceutical company failed to use reasonable care in the design or manufacture of its product, an injured plaintiff could also bring a negligence action. The plaintiff would need to prove the manufacturer’s failure to use reasonable care by a preponderance of the evidence.
A St. Charles Attorney Could Assist with Your Dangerous Drugs Claim
Drug companies are incentivized to fight liability claims, and they pour their resources into defending themselves against the people their products harm. If you are trying to get justice after a drug injury, you may need a legal advocate who can stand up to the big law firms and will not be intimidated.
A Lake Charles dangerous drugs lawyer could work diligently to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a case review today and learn more about your options.