State and Federal laws mandate that prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs meet strict health and safety guidelines before entering the stream of commerce. However, despite rigorous testing, clinical trials, and efficacy studies, many drugs are later found to be unsafe. Those who suffer unanticipated or severe side effects to prescription drugs may file a claim under Florida’s defective product laws.
Drug manufacturers have the duty to responsibly design, market, and distribute their medications. In some cases, unsafe medications make their way to the public, either by questionable marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies or another error. In either event, pharmaceutical injury lawsuits occur when an individual takes a prescribed or recommended defective medication.
Florida defective medication lawsuits are primarily based on drugs with dangerous side effects, medications that have undergone an error in manufacturing, or drugs that have not been marketed properly. Although medications can provide a great degree of relief, even immediate in some cases, a defective medication can have disastrous and long term consequences. Some common injuries that defective medications cause are stroke, heart attack, blood clots, diabetes, mental health issues, and organ failure.
In these cases, many parties may be liable for an unsafe prescription or OTC drugs. In addition to the pharmaceutical manufacturer, a doctor, hospital, pharmacy, or even a laboratory may be liable. Essentially, any party in the chain of distribution or consumer stream may be liable for a Florida defective medication lawsuit.
However, liability in these cases can be challenging to prove, and defendants may avoid responsibility by asking the court to consider certain legal theories. The “intermediary doctrine” is one of those considerations that essentially redefines the scope of a manufacturer’s duty to warn. This argument limits recovery against the manufacturer of a prescription drug maker. Courts reason that a patient’s doctor is in the best position to weigh the risks and benefits of medication and decide whether to prescribe the medication. If a doctor read the manufacturer’s warning, plaintiffs may face additional challenges pursuing a claim.
For example, a recent appellate court issued an opinion stemming from a plaintiff’s claim that she suffered a stroke because of an oral contraceptive. The victim filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, claiming that the pharmaceuticals warnings were inadequate because they lacked necessary information. The pharmaceutical company updated its label to reflect recent findings that taking the medication may increase the risk of blood clots. The treating doctor testified that his decision to prescribe the medication was appropriate even if he had knowledge of the updated medical information.
Under Florida law, the courts will determine whether the doctor acted reasonably in assessing the risk of the medication and prescribing it. In the above case, the court found that without unequivocal testimony that the doctor would have prescribed the medication with the updated medical information, the plaintiffs could not establish proximate cause and overcome the dismissal.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Defective Medication?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries because of defective medication, you may have a Florida unsafe drug lawsuit. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon have extensive experience handling complex Florida personal injury claims. We handle cases stemming from automobile accidents, defective products, premises liability, and nursing home abuse and neglect. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation for our clients, including payments for medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitative treatment, lost wages and benefits, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 877-499-4878 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our office.