Many South Florida residents regularly take prescription or over the counter drugs to improve or maintain their health. Although drugs that are sold to consumers must undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they are safe and effective, some drugs nonetheless pose a serious risk of harm. As a result, many people suffer injuries each year due to defective drugs. If you were harmed by a defective drug, you may be owed compensation and should contact an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The Boca Raton pharmaceutical injury lawyers at The Grife Law Firm can assess whether you may have grounds for pursuing claims against the manufacturer of the drug that caused your harm, or against any other party.Harm Caused by Defective Drugs
Defective drugs can cause numerous health issues, many of which are serious. For example, Zantac and other heartburn medications can cause stomach cancer if they are used regularly, and the frequent use of talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer. Additionally, some cancer drugs, such as Tasigna, have been known to cause heart attacks and strokes. Many drugs used to manage diabetes, including Invokana and Onglyza, can cause grave harm, including the loss of limbs, kidney damage, and heart failure. Furthermore, many expectant mothers take drugs during their pregnancies that they believe are safe but that harm their unborn children.Proving Liability for Harm Arising Out of Defective Drugs
Generally, a plaintiff in a lawsuit arising out of harm caused by a defective drug will assert a strict liability claim against the manufacturer of the drug. In some instances, the plaintiff may be able to assert other claims as well, such as negligence. Essentially, however, a pharmaceutical injury attorney in Boca Raton must show that the plaintiff took the drug as directed, but the drug was defective, and the defect proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual damages. Under Florida law, there are three different ways in which a drug may be defective. Specifically, a drug may be defective due to an error during the manufacturing process, it may cause a dangerous side effect, or it may lack adequate warnings regarding the risks associated with its use.
In strict liability cases, the plaintiff does not need to prove that the manufacturer acted in a careless manner; instead, the plaintiff merely needs to show that the drug had a defect at the time that it left the manufacturer’s facility and that the defect caused the plaintiff’s harm. Negligence claims require a plaintiff to show that the manufacturer owed a duty to the plaintiff, such as the duty to create a safe drug or to warn of known side effects, and the defendant breached the duty, which caused the plaintiff to suffer damages.
Depending on the facts surrounding the harm caused by the defective drug, a Boca Raton pharmaceutical injury attorney may be able to pursue claims against the doctor who prescribed the drug or the pharmacy that disbursed the drug as well. For example, if a doctor prescribed the plaintiff a drug for a non-approved purpose or failed to advise the plaintiff of potential side effects that the drug could cause, the doctor may be liable for the plaintiff’s harm. Similarly, a pharmacy could be held accountable if it disbursed a drug that had been recalled or failed to advise the plaintiff of the potential dangers of using the drug.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations for when a claim may be pursued varies depending on the defendant. Specifically, under Florida Statutes Section 95.119(3)(e), a lawsuit against a manufacturer for a defective drug must be filed within four years, but pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 95.031(2)(b), the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should discover that the drug caused his or her harm. Malpractice claims against a pharmacist or doctor arising out of harm caused by a defective drug, however, must be filed within two years of when the cause of the harm is discovered under Florida Statutes Sections 95.119(4)(a) and (b).Discuss Your Case with a Pharmaceutical Injury Lawyer in Boca Raton
People who suffer harm due to dangerous drugs have a right to seek compensation in a civil lawsuit. The skilled attorneys at The Grife Law Firm are adept at helping people injured by prescription and over the counter medications seek recourse. We regularly represent people in Boca Raton and in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. You can contact us at 855-998-0770 or via our form online to set up a meeting.