What is a Class Action Lawsuit Against a Drug Company, and Should I Join One?

December 4, 2020 Drug Injury

Should you join a class action lawsuit against the pharma company to make them accountable for your injuries after taking their drug? When your doctor prescribes you any medication, it may be intended to cure a disease or condition, improve health, or relieve pain. However, sometimes the unexpected happens, and the drug you thought would help you, ends up severely harming you.

In the United States, pharmaceutical companies that wish to sell drugs must undergo numerous tests trials before the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can place their stamp of approval on the particular drug. In theory, this process helps ensure drug quality and that medications are safe and effective once they’re off the production line and into the consumer’s hands. You can learn more about the FDA’s drug development and approval process by visiting the following webpage: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/development-approval-process-drugs.

However, the reality is that the FDA’s approval stamp does not guarantee that the pharma company’s drug will not have dangerous side effects on U.S. consumers. The FDA regularly issues many recalls for defective drugs. And, unfortunately, by the time the FDA does recall these so-called “bad drugs,” consumers will have already sustained severe injuries. These bad drugs can give rise to several lawsuits, including class action, medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or illness from taking a bad drug or had a family member die from the same, talk to one of our attorneys at Terry Bryant to learn more about your legal options. At this point, maybe you’re unsure of whether filing a lawsuit or joining a class action is in your best interest. However, don’t let these doubts prevent you from getting the help you deserve. For a free consultation, call the Terry Bryant law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.

What is a class action lawsuit against a drug company?

A class action lawsuit against a drug company refers to a lawsuit in which a group of injured individuals affected by the same bad drug comes together to sue the drug manufacturer. These “similarly situated” individuals that have been affected by the same bad drug become the class. That class may then be represented by one or several attorneys and law firms.

These class action lawsuits are expensive, complex, and may take the lawyers quite some time to obtain a settlement or judgment for their clients. You should check to see whether there is already an ongoing class action for the particular drug causing you harm. These class action lawsuits against drug companies will generally be referred to the drug’s name followed by the word “lawsuit” (e.g., Zantac lawsuit).

If there is already an ongoing bad drug class action against a pharma company, you may have the right to “opt in.” Generally, you won’t be required to pay anything upfront because the legal fees and costs will be advanced by the attorney(s) representing you, as well as other class members. Under this scenario, however, you will be asked to enter into some agreement with your attorney(s), in which your attorney(s) will be collecting a percentage of the settlement or court judgment at the end of the case.

If you aren’t sure whether you should join a class action lawsuit or you wish to get additional information before making that decision or the decision to file any other type of lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Terry Bryant at 713-973-8888.

What are some ways in which bad drugs can be defective?

One common defect that consumers run into when having consumed bad drugs is a “manufacturing defect.” This particular defect involves some type of mistake in the manufacturing process that results in the creation of a dangerous drug. For example, someone in the drug manufacturing company may have tainted its ingredients, changing the composition of the drug. Different portions of the drug’s components may have been unexpectedly mixed, making end product not perform as intended.

Other times, drug companies produce the drug appropriately (i.e., there are no manufacturing defects), but issues arise when the medication produces harmful side effects, and the drugs are deemed unsafe to use. These defects are referred to as “design defects.” When design defects are present, the lawyer will argue that the pharmaceutical company either knew or should have known from previous testing about the dangerous side effects.

Drug companies can also be on the hook for “marketing defects.” These defects arise when the drug company fails to warn its consumers, whether through inadequate safety warnings or insufficient instructions on the label. Sometimes drug companies make the mistake of not providing consumers with enough information to weigh the benefits of using that particular drug against the side effects. In some egregious instances, you may have pharma companies engaging in deceptive marketing tactics to mislead consumers to think a drug helps treat a certain condition or cure a disease when past research does not support this.

If I decide to join a class action lawsuit against the pharma company for a bad drug I’ve taken, how can I best prepare my case?

A best practice is to collect evidence and keep a record of how the drug has affected you. You will want to document how your injuries have developed since taking the drug. At some point, your attorney(s) will ask you to provide them with details on your injury and the impact on your quality of life. You should also jot down information on how you obtained the medication, including the doctor that prescribed it and when, and the pharmacy and pharmacist that filled the prescription.

What if I believe that my doctor or pharmacists share in the blame?

You may find yourself in a situation where you were severely injured by the bad drug’s dangerous side effects and by the negligence of your doctor in prescribing the drug that harmed you. Examples include your doctor’s prescribing the wrong dosage or failing to realize that you had allergies or were concurrently taking medications, resulting in your having an allergic reaction. Based on your particular circumstances, you may have some basis for a medical malpractice claim.

The pharmacist who handed you the medication can also be held liable if his or her negligent actions resulted in an injury to you. Pharmacists, like doctors, are held to a duty of care, and they could be held negligent in situations when they handed you a series of drugs and knew or should have known that they were harmful when taken together but did not say anything to you.

Contact our attorneys at the Terry Bryant law firm to discuss your options.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries, or are suffering the wrongful death of a loved one who took a bad drug, talk to one of our attorneys at Terry Bryant to learn more about your legal options. Call our Houston law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You have nothing to lose.

Disclaimer: This information is for general information only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.