Just about every pharmaceutical has some kind of negative side effect. The general rule of thumb is; don’t use a medication unless the benefits outweigh the risks. But what if you don’t know what the risks are?
A man who claimed that the manufacturer of a testosterone replacement drug was negligent in not informing him of associated risks, recently received a jury award of more than $3 million. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, Jesse Mitchell, used AndroGel for nearly five years until suffering a heart attack in 2012. Mitchell claims that the drug’s manufacturer, Abbvie, failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks linked to AndroGel. The lawsuit alleged strict liability, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence. Although the jury did not agree with all of Mitchell’s claims, they did agree that Abbvie was negligent.
What is Strict Liability?
To win a case based on negligence, you have to be able to show that the defendant was at fault, whereas strict liability claims do not require proof of fault. Consider a dog bite, for example. In strict liability states, a dog’s owner is responsible for any injuries caused by the dog, whether or not the owner was negligent. If, for instance, the victim was bitten when he reached over a fence to pet the dog, the owner may still be liable because the dog is “unreasonably dangerous.”
Apparently, in the AndroGel case, the jury found that Abbvie acted negligently, but did not regard AndroGel as an unreasonably dangerous pharmaceutical. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a defective medication, dog bite, or in any type of accident.
A Second Chance
This was actually the second round of trials for Jesse Mitchell in his lawsuit against Abbvie. In the first trial, he was awarded $150 million by the jury, but the judge threw out the verdict, calling it “logically incompatible.” In this most recent trial, the jury awarded $200,000 in economic and non-economic damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
Other Harmful Drugs and Devices
It seems that every day there is another new prescription drug or medical device in the news for harming patients. Here are just a few of the dangerous drugs and devices that have made headlines in the past year:
- Xarelto: An anticoagulant (blood thinner) linked to excessive bleeding.
- Invokana: A medication for type 2 diabetes linked to multiple health problems, including a potentially-deadly condition called ketoacidosis.
- All-metal hip implants: Originally touted as more durable than their all-plastic counterparts, all-metal hip implants may rub together, releasing metal debris into the body.
- Transvaginal mesh: Intended to remedy pelvic organ prolapse or stress incontinence in women, transvaginal mesh devices have been associated with severe pain, organ perforation and other serious medical complications.