Most lawsuits involving pharmaceutical drugs fall under the categories of personal injury and product liability law. This means they are filed by a person or group of people who were injured due to a defect in the design, marketing or manufacture of the drug, and they seek to hold the drug company or other parties liable for their damages. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and other economic and non-economic damages suffered as a result of the defective drug.
Recently, another type of pharmaceutical lawsuit has been making news. State and local governments have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of opioid painkillers, seeking to hold them liable for the costs of widespread opioid addiction.
Endo Pharmaceuticals trial
In one case, a group of local governments has filed suit against Endo Pharmaceuticals, alleging that the drug maker marketed its opioid painkiller Opana ER without regard for safety, leading to widespread addiction and a large number of overdose deaths. They have asked for $2.4 billion in damages.
Recently, a judge ruled against Endo, finding that the company made false statements to the court and deliberately withheld documents in a coordinated effort to protect itself from liability. The judge said the company’s behavior was so outrageous that it justified finding Endo liable for all damages claimed by the local governments.
Endo has already settled similar claims from other state and local governments.
While these government lawsuits are important, ultimately the damage from defective drugs is personal. People who have been hurt due to unsafe drugs should speak with an experienced lawyer about their options for holding drug makers and others accountable for all they have lost.