Whether you take medicine regularly or you only take it when you need it, we all trust that medications prescribed to us by our physicians are safe to consume. What happens, however, when a drug you’ve been prescribed causes a catastrophic accident, or you have a severe reaction that results in injury or even death? In these cases, a Georgia product liability claim may be appropriate.
In a recent 11th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, the court considered a drug products liability case involving a drug manufacturer’s failure to warn a patient of a drug’s risks. The plaintiff in question suffered from a catastrophic stroke, which left her paralyzed and her cognitive functions significantly impaired. After consuming an oral contraceptive from the defendant manufacturer, a drug known to increase the risk of blood clots that could result in strokes, the court considered whether the plaintiff had enough evidence that the defendant manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings of the risk of stroke for the drug. On appeal, the court held that the plaintiffs failed to establish that the defendant manufacturer inadequately warned of the potential risks associated with the drug and granted judgment in favor of the defendants.
In typical failure-to-warn products liability cases in Georgia, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to warn the plaintiff of any risks, that the defendant breached this duty, and that the breach resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. When the product at issue is a prescription drug, however, the drug manufacturer does not have a duty to warn patients of potential dangers of a product directly, but instead has a duty to warn the patient’s doctor instead. According to Georgia law, a patient’s treating physician is better positioned to warn patients than the manufacturer since physicians must assess medical risks in light of the patient’s needs and health before prescribing medication.
To prove that an inadequate warning proximately caused the alleged injury, the plaintiff must show that a causal link exists between the deficient warning and the prescription decision from the physician. In cases where the physician had full knowledge of the risks associated with a particular drug and where the physician would have taken the same course of action if the risks had been provided to the patient, plaintiffs are unable to recover because the causal link they need to prove is broken. In other words, if the doctor would have chosen to prescribe the medication to the patient anyway, regardless of the risks, the plaintiff is unable to recover.
In Georgia, drug-related product liability cases can be extremely complex and challenging to navigate. In light of a serious injury, filing a claim may be the last thing on your mind. However, product liability claims, if successful, could give you or your loved ones the compensation they deserve to recover or live comfortably following a prescription drug-related incident. This is why potential plaintiffs are advised to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent them in their claims.
Do You Need a Georgia Products Liability Attorney?
If you or someone you know has been recently injured or killed by the negligence of a manufacturer or a faulty product or drug, contact the Georgia product liability attorneys at McAleer Law today. Our team of experienced attorneys will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to get on you the road to recovery. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 404-622-5337.