Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

What are some common ways in which drugs harm Texans?

It seems like there is a pill to cure all ailments. But just because Texans cannot turn on their television or open a magazine without being flooded with ads pressing drug after drug does not mean that each of these drugs has a flawless track record. Quite the opposite. Defective drugs and medicine are often at the center of product-liability lawsuits.

Is there a pattern to how defective drugs and medicine do their damage? Yes. While each situation is unique, many instances fit into a few categories such as that the drug was inherently unsafe or contained improper warnings. The first category features products that cannot be completely safe no matter what protections the manufacturer takes; the second category includes inadequate labeling or a failure to properly inform the doctors prescribing the medicine of all of its side effects.

Are pharmaceutical-liability cases harder to prove? Often, yes. One reason is lapses in time between when the person took the drug and when the drug starts having a deleterious effect. Sometimes the lapse in time is short; other times it can be long. The longer the lapse, the harder to show that the defective drug was the cause of the harm.

How complex are product-liability cases? It depends but, in general, they are some of the most complex cases within the legal system. In part, that is because of the difficulty of showing that the drug caused the symptoms. In part, that is because product-liability cases are highly technical, often requiring aid and testimony from experts.

Because of the complexity and uncertainty at the earlier stages of a product-liability case, Texans considering filing such a claim may benefit from first discussing their case with an experienced product-liability attorney.

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