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Unsafe Drugs and Pharmaceutical Liability

Nashville-based attorneys at Gilreath & Associates discuss how you can establish liability for defective pharmaceutical drugs

Nearly half of the entire American population has taken at least one prescription drug in the last month according to the CDC. To the pharmaceutical companies who supply these drugs, this statistic means huge dollars signs.

The business of manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical drugs is a $400 billion per year industry, and with companies scrambling to get the biggest slice of profit they can, it is inevitable that sometimes shortcuts are made and safety testing is rushed.

If you or someone you know sustained personal injury due to pharmaceutical drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, it is important to understand your rights and find out if you are entitled to financial compensation for your damages.

It is an unfortunate truth that personal injury cases pertaining to unsafe pharmaceutical practices and faulty drugs have been on the rise in recent years. After this latest meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections, which killed nearly 60 people nationwide and 9 in Tennessee, it is clear that pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable for making shortcuts and exposing patients to dangerous products.

Product Liability: Verdicts & Settlements

Defective product -
seatbelt system
$44 million recovered for paralyzed child
Rear-end car accident -
defective automobile
$13 million recovered for two paralyzed plaintiffs
Defective product -
airbag and seatbelt system
$6.5 million recovered for paralyzed woman
Bus accident -
defective school bus breaks
$3.9 million recovered for paralyzed teenager
Defective product -
lawn mower
$1.5 million recovered for injured plaintiff

Liability in Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

In most cases where medical injury occurs from a prescribed drug, one of three parties is held accountable for negligence:

  • The drug manufacturer. When inadequate testing and research was done before making the drug public, or a company attempts to conceal a drug's dangerous side effects, it may be grounds for a defective products lawsuit.

  • The pharmacist. When a prescription is filled with the wrong medication or dosage, a medical malpractice suit may possibly be filed.

  • The physician. If a medical professional prescribes the wrong medication or dosage, or prescribes a medication that other professionals would not have, it may lead to a case of medical malpractice.

What should I do if a defective product has injured my family or me?

  1. Secure the product in a safe place.
  2. Secure any documentation about the product including packaging, manuals, instruction booklets etc.
  3. Do not give the product to the manufacturer for "testing." All defective product cases are won or lost in the early days following the accident. Remember, a defective product must be secured immediately. Never assume that no one will want the wreckage of a destroyed automobile or ATV. Manufacturers are always on the lookout to secure and destroy evidence. If the evidence cannot be bought or found put everyone on notice, including owners, tow operators, wrecking yards, police impounds, and the like. If they are directed to preserve important evidence and fail to do so, they can be subject to suit for destruction of evidence.
  4. Contact a lawyer. It is critical to the success of your case that you consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in product liability immediately if you have been injured by a defective product. The laws are complex and filings have a specific time limit. Do not delay in protecting your rights.

Injury lawsuits involving unsafe drugs or dangerous pharmaceutical practices must be filed within a certain time frame. These limitations vary by state. In Tennessee, patients must give a written notice of their intent to sue within one year from the date of injury - however, exceptions can be made in circumstances where the injury was not discovered until later.

Filing a Claim

If you delay your claim too long, your case may become ineligible. Also, gathering evidence to prove that a pharmaceutical company or medical professional is at fault is complicated and takes time, which is why it is crucial to contact an experienced Tennessee injury attorney as soon as possible.

Our medical malpractice and defective products lawyers at Gilreath & Associates' offices in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis will fight for your rights and aggressively defend you from the underhanded tactics of pharmaceutical companies.

Schedule your free consultation today to discuss your pharmaceutical injury or defective drug claim, or visit our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide to learn more.

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