Drugs & Devices
Ellis Law provides nationwide representation to those injured by dangerous drugs and medical devices. We offer complimentary case evaluation to anyone who has been exposed to these products and suffered a serious injury. Speak with a product liability lawyer today.
Many prescription drugs we think are safe are under investigation and have FDA warnings associated with their use. Find out which drugs have come under fire; many have been recalled, or have had serious changes made to the warning label.
Defective Medical Devices
Defective Medical Devices
Medical devices thought to be safe are actually passed through the FDA through a process known as 510(k), which means they do not have to pass rigorous testing methods normally in place before a medical device can be marketed. Learn more about the complications associated with these dangerous medical devices.
Pharmaceutical companies are among the largest corporate criminals in the world, according to Health Impact News. Their crimes range from downplaying risks and marketing drugs for off-label purposes, to bribing medical professionals with lavish kickbacks and defrauding Medicare.
Dangerous drug lawsuits are a type of product liability case that focuses on medication and supplement manufacturers. Attorneys digging into accidental deaths and serious injuries following the consumption of medication often find that drug makers were aware of potential risks associated with their products, but chose to focus on profits over safety instead. These issues only come to light when independent research is published in medical journals, when FDA warnings are published, or when recalls receive media attention.
Victims and their family members are eligible to file suit within a reasonable amount of time — usually three years after learning of the dangers associated with the drug. When multiple victims have sustained similar injuries, these lawsuits may be grouped into a class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation, which streamlines trials and settlements in a more timely, orderly, and cost-effective fashion. When the evidence is particularly compelling, huge payouts take the place of ongoing litigation.
“Record-breaking multibillion-dollar settlements against big drug companies have become routine in the U.S.,” according to TIME magazine. They named the following 10 examples of huge drug manufacturer settlements paid out to victims and their families in the last decade:
- 2007 – Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $515 million for illegal marketing of antipsychotic drug Abilify.
- 2007 – Purdue Pharma paid $634.5 million for misleading consumers on the safety of painkiller Oxycontin.
- 2009 – Eli Lily paid $1.4 billion for promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses.
- 2009 – Pfizer paid $2.3 billion for kickbacks and fraudulent marketing of Lyrica and Bextra.
- 2010 – AstraZeneca settled for $520 million for improper use of psychotropic drug Seroquel.
- 2011 – Merck settles for $950 million for downplaying heart attack and stroke risks associated with Vioxx.
- 2012 – Abbott Laboratories paid $1.5 billion for off-label marketing of seizure drug Depakote.
- 2012 – GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion for illegally marketing Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia.
- Pending – Amgen has set aside $760 million to settle misconduct suits for anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen.
- Pending – Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement of up to $2 billion for downplaying risks of Risperdal.
Medical devices offer a glimmer of opportunity for Americans who are in otherwise hopeless situations. The promise of a new hip, a new knee, a minimally invasive surgery, or bladder support makes a world of difference to people who have limited mobility due to a serious medical condition. Tragically, it is not at all uncommon for patients to end up in worse shape after undergoing surgery than before.
DePuy Orthopedics is one instance of a medical device manufacturer involved in a large settlement payout. The company has agreed to settle with thousands of plaintiffs for $2.4 billion. Patients with defective hip and knee implants have suffered infections, debilitating pain, squeaky joints, swelling, bone fractures, and blood poisoning resulting in one or more revision surgeries. Attorneys traced the problem back to a design flaw that allowed shards of metal to get into the bloodstream.
In addition to design flaws, juries can also rule that medical devices failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the product, provided insufficient instructions to medical providers on how to use the devices, or suffered a defect somewhere in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers can be held liable for illegal marketing tactics resulting in plaintiff injuries. Contact Ellis Law Firm to explore your options if you suspect a defective medical device or drug has caused your family undue hardship.