Arizona Legal Liability in the Context of Defective Drugs
The number of lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical manufacturers and companies for defective drugs continues to increase. Such lawsuits result from patients who take a defective medication, endure injuries and seek financial compensation. The companies that manufacture such medications are legally required to test these products prior to selling them to the public.
Proving Legal Liability After Injury due to a Defective Drug
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes the testing criteria for medications. However, this is not an indication that the manufacturer can escape legal liability if an Arizona personal injury attorney proves the medication in question is defective. As an example, the FDA approved the public’s use of opioids yet the manufacturers of opioids are frequently sued for negligence, medication defects and resulting injuries.
In short, legal liability is not always clear-cut in the context of defective drugs. The challenge lies in determining which specific party was responsible for providing the drug in question and whether there was knowledge of potential harm or simply general carelessness. Pinpointing the specific party that provided the drug is not always easy. The doctor who initially prescribed the medication and/or the pharmacist responsible for filling that prescription might have legal liability for the injury.
Proving a Duty of Care was Owed
The vast majority of defective drug lawsuits are centered on an injured party’s attempt to prove the drug manufacturer, the prescribing doctor, the pharmacist or another party owed a duty of care and failed to fulfill it. The injured party is also required to prove the accused individual breached his or her duty of care. It must also be proven the breach led to the injury.
Furthermore, the Arizona personal injury attorney handling the case must also prove the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the failure to fulfill the duty of care, often referred to as negligence. However, determining which party is specifically negligent for the defective drug’s transmission to the plaintiff is not easy. It is possible multiple parties breached their duty of care. However, proving such a breach requires the assistance of a savvy Arizona personal injury attorney.
Negligent Drug Manufacturers Must be Held Accountable
Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of the side effects of a specific drug. There is a chance the manufacturer is not aware of symptoms caused by the medication as they have not manifested to this point in time. In such an instance, the manufacturer is responsible for determining everything there is to know about the drug and also keeping relevant parties in the loop regarding potential risks and side effects.
Certain medications are viewed as inherently unsafe. In other words, it does not matter how much effort the drug manufacturer put into making the medications as the risk will be detailed on a warning label. However, if the drugs were provided in a container that lacked such a label, there is an argument to be made that the drug manufacturer is legally liable for side effects due to the failure to provide consumers with the appropriate level of care.