Defective Drugs & Medical Devices

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Wilmington Dangerous Drug Lawyer

Investigating Defective Drug & Medical Device Cases Throughout North Carolina

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was established in 1906, when the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed to protect public health. If the FDA has approved a pharmaceutical product, American citizens should be able to be confident that it is safe for public consumption. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Dangerous drugs that are FDA-approved injure thousands of people of every year.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have a duty to adequately test and ensure the safety of their products before they put them on the market. Sadly, profit often takes precedence over safety, and serious side effects may not be disclosed or may not be discovered until a dangerous drug has been on the market for years. If you or loved one has been harmed by a dangerous drug, Rhine Law Firm, P.C. may be able to help. Contact us for a free consultation with no obligation. Our Wilmington injury attorneys can evaluate your case to determine if we can help you get compensation for your injuries.

Drug Recalls

Every year, many pharmaceutical drugs come under scrutiny. A drug that has had many reports of adverse side-effects is recalled, either voluntarily or through direct action by the FDA. Some drugs remain on the market, but manufacturers are required to add warnings for various dangerous side-effects. Just a few of the pharmaceutical medications that are subject to lawsuits due to serious or life-threatening side effects include:

  • TAXOTERE: Taxotere is used to treat patients with breast cancer and has been used for treatment for over two decades. Warnings about permanent hair loss were provided to both Canada and Europe as far back as 2005, but USA patients were not made aware of this potential side effect until 2015 when the FDA ordered a label change warning patients and doctors of various side effects, including cases of permanent hair loss. Lawsuits have now been filed against the manufacturer for failing to warn patients of the risk of permanent hair loss, with allegations that the company was aware of this side effect. Many cancer drugs cause hair loss, but in the case of Taxotere, the hair loss can be permanent (permanent alopecia). The scope of FDA warnings for the use of Taxotere include various other side effects, including hypertension, skin conditions, nerve damage, heart conditions, diarrhea, intoxication, respiratory problems, and CME (Cystoid Macular Edema).
  • BENICAR: This drug is prescribed to patients with high blood pressure. The FDA required label changes to warn against intestinal problems. Sprue-like enteropathy is a condition that presents symptoms of celiac disease. These symptoms include severe ongoing diarrhea and villous atrophy – a condition in which the small intestine can no longer absorb nutrients. Symptoms associated with sprue-like enteropathy include: malnutrition, severe weight loss, chronic diarrhea, and vomiting. As these symptoms are the same as the symptoms of celiac disease, many patients were misdiagnosed and treatment for celiac failed to resolve the condition. A safety alert was issued by the FDA in 2012. Lawsuits are being filed against the manufacturer for failing to warn of this dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effect.

If you have suffered a serious side effect from any pharmaceutical, it is vital that you seek legal counsel to advise you about moving forward with a legal claim or lawsuit.

Defective Medical Devices and Products

Many medical devices and products are recalled every year. Recent cases include Stryker Hip Replacement products, later recalled, and talcum powder, used in certain over-the-counter products, which was found to increase the chances of a consumer developing ovarian cancer. Johnson’s Baby Powder used for feminine hygiene has been linked to a significant increase in the risk of developing ovarian cancer, and lawsuits are currently being filed against the manufacturer seeking financial damages.

Do I Have a Case Against a Manufacturer?

Any injury case related to a dangerous drug, medical device, or product must be evaluated to determine whether it possible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. There are several ways such a lawsuit could result in financial compensation, including:

  • Failure to Warn of Dangerous Side Effects
  • Defective Products
  • Marketing Defects
  • Manufacturing Defects
  • Design Defects

Seeking Damages for Dangerous Drug Injuries

If a dangerous drug has harmed you or a family member, the best thing to do is to speak with a knowledgeable Wilmington product liability lawyer as soon as possible. You may have a claim for damages against the responsible parties.

In many cases, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the dangerous drug may be held accountable for the harm its product has caused. Other potentially liable parties may include the:

  • Drug testing laboratory
  • Pharmaceutical sales rep
  • Physician
  • Hospital
  • Pharmacy

When dangerous side effects of a particular drug have harmed a large number of people, the product may be recalled by the manufacturer or the FDA. Although a recall may serve as evidence in your case, it is not sufficient, in itself, to prove the drug company's liability.

After careful investigation of your case and a thorough assessment of your losses, our personal injury attorneys may file a claim for compensation against the responsible parties. We can negotiate the terms of a settlement with an insurance company on your behalf, or fight for your rights in court when necessary. We are trial lawyers, and zealously protect the rights of the people we serve. You can rely on our firm to tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Mass Torts and Class Action Lawsuits

When large numbers of people may have been injured by a single dangerous drug, mass torts and class action lawsuits are common in pharmaceutical litigation. In mass tort litigation, a large number of similar lawsuits against the same defendant are consolidated before a particular judge. Attorneys representing the injured parties typically work together in these cases until the judge orders them to be sent back to their original jurisdictions.

In a pharmaceutical class action lawsuit, many people who have been injured by a particular drug join together to take action against the manufacturer. Damages awarded by the court in a class action lawsuit are divided amongst the plaintiffs, and the costs of litigation are typically included in the award.

Contact a Wilmington Dangerous Drug Attorney

Consumers should be able to trust in the safety of drugs that have been approved by the FDA and released to the general public, but sadly, this is not always the case. Call Rhine Law Firm, P.C. at (910) 772-9960 or toll free at (866) 772-9960 for dedicated legal help to seek justice and fair compensation for injuries caused by dangerous drugs throughout the state of North Carolina.

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