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California Law: Side Effects of Prescription Medication


Many people do not think that side effects of an otherwise harmless prescription medication can kill you. While many of the outcomes don’t end in death, these medications can cause lasting damage. There are times when proper research isn’t done during clinical trials or a drug was rushed out to the public. Even talcum powder has a lawsuit as this widely used baby powder has been linked with ovarian cancer.

While the first companies to come out with these powders didn’t have the technology or medical knowledge to see this outcome, they can still be held liable. Exposing millions of women to a substance that can increase the chances of ovarian cancer by 20 to 30 percent is irresponsible as proper research should be conducted on all new and existing products. The following are things that should be known when debating whether to file a lawsuit that is prescription drug related.

What Can You File a Lawsuit For?

Side effects that are not listed on the bottle can even be brought up in a lawsuit. Some people might be willing to risk a stomachache or headache but not the increase risk of stroke or heart attack. The failure to list side effects misinformed the physicians prescribing as well as the patients so they cannot make an educated decision as information is missing. The company making the medication can be held liable in a huge class action lawsuit if it is found out that the company knowingly didn’t inform consumers of all of the effects the drug might have.

If you have suffered losses financially or physically because of taking a medication, doing research is important as you could have a case. The financial losses can be missed work or increased doctor visits. The physical losses could be loss of feeling in an appendage or suffering some sort of cardiac event.

Lawsuits brought up over drugs that have been FDA approved have the greatest chance of being successful. Those drugs that aren’t FDA approved generally have warning labels that can help the company in the case of legal action. For this reason it is difficult to file a lawsuit against a nutritional supplement company as supplements are not FDA approved in the US.

How Long To File a Lawsuit

In California you have 2 years from the date of your initial injury to file a lawsuit. This could be years after the medication has been taken for the first issue to arise. For example, someone taking a medication in 1999 who then had excessive kidney stones in 2016 has until 2018 as the injuries occurred far after the medication was taken. The statute of limitations for each state differs so it is important to file ASAP as a few weeks could be too late!

Consulting an Attorney

Many people might believe that contacting a medical malpractice attorney would be the course of action. This couldn’t be further from the truth as an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice goes after hospitals and hospital staff while a drug lawsuit attorney goes after the company who has produced the medication.

The right lawyer in the pharmaceutical lawsuit will be one who has trial experience. There are “settlement lawyers” which accept the first offer the corporate lawyers and insurance company offer. These lawyers have their place but their client might not receive fair compensation for their pain. A lawyer who has gone to trial against large corporations and won is the best pick. Ask attorneys you are checking out for their trial results and case results as this can be telling more so than any other factor.

A pharmaceutical lawsuit can be a lengthy process but being made whole financially for your pain and suffering is important. Do not let large corporations who failed to research or omitted research get away with injuring you or somebody in your family. Big pharma doesn’t seem to have anyone’s best interest in mind at this point, so be careful with what you take!

Photo by Jamie/CC Flickr

California Law: Side Effects of Prescription Medication via @sacramentopress

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