Modern medicine provides people with many treatments that can greatly improve their quality of life. There are drugs available on the market which provide people with important medical benefits for a wide variety of conditions. While we expect the drugs we use to be safe, this is unfortunately not always the case. Many drugs can cause serious harm to their users if they are used incorrectly, when they interact with other drugs, or when they result in unforeseen side effects.
When someone is injured after using a defective drug, they may be able to seek compensation from the drug manufacturers. A recent court ruling in Massachusetts may affect product liability cases involving generic drugs.
Liability for Generic Drugs
A product’s manufacturer is required to provide adequate instructions for the use of a product, as well as warnings about the potential dangers of using the product. In defective drug cases involving failure to warn, the user of a drug may be able to receive compensation if they can show that they were injured because a manufacturer did not provide the necessary warnings about the use of the drug.
While the need for adequate warnings may seem straightforward, the legal issues to be resolved can become complicated in cases involving generic drugs, which constitute around 90% of all prescriptions in the United States. Since manufacturers of generic drugs did not develop these drugs, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault when these drugs cause injury.
Warning labels are an issue that often arises in cases involving generic drugs. Generic drugs are required by federal law to use the same labels as the brand-name versions of the drugs, and these labels can only be changed by the brand-name drug manufacturers. A recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that brand-name manufacturers may be held liable for injuries caused by a generic drug manufacturer’s failure to warn. This type of liability is known as innovator liability.
Decisions in 2011 and 2013 by the United States Supreme Court have provided generic drug manufacturers with some protections from state law liability. The Massachusetts ruling, along with other similar rulings in Illinois and Vermont, as well as a recent decision by the California Supreme Court, may expand people’s ability to obtain compensation when they are injured by a defective generic drug.
Contact an Aurora, IL Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been harmed by a defective drug, the attorneys of Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. can work with you to determine your eligibility for pursuing compensation. Contact our Kane County product liability attorneys by calling 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.