Why Defective Drug Cases Are Often Mass Tort

Posted On June 16th, 2010 By CSSFIRM.COM

Every year defective drugs and medical devices cause injury to thousands of unsuspecting people. Although the FDA has established protocols and rules for manufacturers to prevent such injuries, companies may fail to property investigate and test new products. They may not report side effects or adequately communicate risks to patients. Not only does this put the public health at risk, it also violates the law.

Most consumers don’t realize the prevalence of dangerous drugs on the market today, many trusting that the Federal Government will protect them from injury. Unfortunately, a flawed FDA approval process and the lack of regulation for the health supplement injury cause unsafe situations for many. Dangerous drugs may acquire FDA-approval without ever being adequately tested for safety and potential side effects before going to market. Other drugs may come in the form of seemingly harmless health supplements, which turn out to be dangerous and unhealthy.

Drug and Supplement Recalls

Examples of drugs that were recalled for dangerous side effects after receiving FDA approval include Avandia, and Oxycontin. Avandia was originally formulated to fight high blood sugar in diabetes patients. Unfortunately, the drug also heightened the risk of heart attack in an already vulnerable population. hydroxycutAccutane was created as an acne medication, but can have serious consequences for pregnant mothers, resulting in birth defects or prenatal death.  Other dangerous side effects can include depression, psychosis and suicide in serious cases. Oxycontin is a powerful pain reliever, but has shown to create severe chemical dependency in many patients.

The FDA has recalled health supplements including several muscle-building formulations that actually contained steroids. The bodybuilding and weight loss supplement Hydroxycut has recently been shown to cause serious liver damage and has been responsible for at least one death. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the manufacturer is responsible for safety testing before sending a product to market. The FDA can only take action after the products are on consumer shelves.

Why Aren’t These Class Action Cases?

Mass tort cases are commonly referred to as called “class actions,” although they do not always fit that designation. The requirements for class action cases fit only a small number of situations. While all class actions are also mass tort actions, the reverse is not true.

The reason mass tort litigation is often the best course for defective drug injuries has to do with the type of injuries involved. Because drugs may affect many types of patients differently, all cases may not fit into one class. Some drugs only cause injury to a relatively small number of people, even though those injures are severe.

Mass tort litigation benefits injured parties by allowing one or a group of attorneys to represent several injured parties. The investigation materials from one attorney can be used and applied to all cases. A network of attorneys nationwide may work together, share information and brainstorm approaches to the case.

Limited Time to File Suit for Injuries

Defective drug claims are often time-sensitive, so it is important that anyone injured by a defective drug contact an experienced professional like the attorneys at CSS Firm right away.

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