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A Pharmaceutical Drug-Related Product Liability Claim: Is it Possible To Sue Drug Manufacturers In California?

While many people in California believe that it is possible to file a product liability claim against a pharmaceutical drug manufacturer to recover damages, pharmaceutical-drug-based claims are actually very similar to other product liability claims.

However, there are quite a few special rules and requirements that make the process of recovering damages a little more complicated. That is why we invited our San Diego product liability attorney from the Law Office of Edward J. Babbitt, APC, to outline the basics of drug-related product liability claims in California.

California law recognizes three types of product liability claims when it comes to suing manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs:

  • A defectively manufactured pharmaceutical drug;

  • A pharmaceutical drug with unreasonably dangerous side effects (on the condition that the drug was manufactured properly);

  • A pharmaceutical drug with an inadequate warning or instruction (in other words, an improperly marketed drug).

How to Sue Manufacturers of Pharmaceutical Drugs in California?

A defectively manufactured pharmaceutical drug. This type of drug-based product liability claims is pretty straightforward. If you can establish that the drug you used had a manufacturing defect and that defect caused your injuries or illness, you may be entitled to compensation.

Typically, a manufacturing defect occurs as a result of a manufacturing error at the manufacturer’s facility or the pharmacy where the drug was made or bottled. Also, this error could occur during shipping or in labeling.

In a nutshell, you have a right to sue the manufacturer of a pharmaceutical drug as well as other parties if an error occurred at some point between the moment the manufacturer began making the drug and the moment the drug entered your possession.

A pharmaceutical drug with unreasonably dangerous side effects. While pretty much every pharmaceutical drug comes with a laundry list of side effects, you may be entitled to sue the manufacturer and other parties in the chain of distribution if a certain side effect resulted in an injury or illness.

“Typically, these product liability cases involve pharmaceutical drugs that have been sold for a long period of time before it was discovered that the drug has unreasonably dangerous side effects,” says our experienced product liability attorney in San Diego. You can file this type of claim only if the drug was properly manufactured (if it was not, your claim may qualify as the first type of a product liability claim, as discussed above).

In many cases, the injured user of a pharmaceutical drug files a product liability case against the manufacturer when he or she can prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the dangerous side effects but intentionally concealed it. In that case, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive punitive damages in addition to the regular product liability damages.

A pharmaceutical drug with an inadequate warning or instruction. Contrary to the popular belief, some people do read warnings, instructions, and recommendations about the administration of drugs, and end up successfully recovering damages from manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs and other parties when these warnings, instructions, or recommendations are inadequate or inaccurate.

For example, a pharmaceutical drug is considered “improperly marketed” when the manufacturer, doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider failed to provide an adequate or accurate instruction, warning, or recommendation about the safe and appropriate use of the drug or side effects associated with the use of that drug.

As long as you can establish that the drug’s improper marketing was the cause of your injuries or illness, you may be able to seek compensation through a product liability lawsuit. Consult with a San Diego product liability attorney before taking legal action. Contact the Law Office of Edward J. Babbitt, APC, for a free case evaluation. Call or fill out this contact form today.