Louisiana Drug Injury Attorneys
Leading Baton Rouge Medical & Pharmaceutical Injury Law Firm
While there are always advances in the medical field, it is far from a perfect system. Pharmaceutical companies often push the use of drugs without disclosing all of the possible side effects. One of the most recent cases involved the drug Risperdal, an antipsychotic that was given to children off-label for help with autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and other behavioral obstacles. When used by young boys, it has been linked to cause gynecomastia, the abnormal growth of female breasts.
In 2016, our firm represented a Risperdal victim, winning him and his family a $76 million verdict after we were able to prove that the manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson, had documentation showing this link but continued the use of the drug regardless. We at Arnold & Itkin are happy we were able to provide for our client and his family but we are more proud of exposing this injustice so that less patients will have to endure the hardship our client experienced in the future.
GMOs May Be Linked to Autism
Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. recently stated that Roundup use on crops is linked to glyphosate toxicity, which has been known to cause autism. Dr. Seneff arrives at this theory after 30 years of study in biology and technology. She believes that because Roundup is used on our crops, it may be found in anything from chips to beef, slowly populating much of our food. Seneff believes that this chemical may lead to growth in autism rates, even reaching the point of 1 out of 2 children by the year 2025.
Widespread Pharmaceuticals Linked to Dangerous Side Effects
More and more drugs are being revealed as seriously damaging to patients. Although many of these drugs have been around for quite a while, it sometimes takes that long to discover negative patterns in their users.
If you have taken the following drugs and experienced similar side effects, we may be able to help you:
- Acthar: Since 1952, this drug has been used to treat infants for spasms or Multiple Sclerosis. It has recently been linked to renal failure, sever stomach pain, and death.
- Antidepressants and SSRI’s: Used to treat depression, these drugs are slowly being revealed as physically and psychologically damaging to their users.
- Depakote: Used to treat convulsions, it has been shown to cause birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. These include cleft palate, spina bifida, and many others.
- Zoloft: This Pfizer drug has been used for around 25 years to treat depression, but has recently been shown to cause birth defects and exacerbated symptoms of depression.
- Risperdal: This drug has been used since 1994 to treat various different types of psychosis, and it has been linked to gynecomastia in young male patients.
- Actos: This medication is typically used as an anti-diabetic for patients with adult onset diabetes. However, it has been shown to increase one's risk of bladder cancer.
The Use of Harmful Medical Devices
Many manufacturers and marketers of medical devices bypass proper testing of their devices before selling them for widespread use in hospitals. They use an FDA regulation that claims that their device is “substantially equivalent” to other products and are designed for the same purpose, allowing them to bypass a thorough testing period. This results in the widespread sale of an improperly inspected medical device.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) & Medical Recalls
The FDA is the federal authority on quality and safety control of our country’s food and pharmaceutical products. Every product that involves ingestion has to be approved by the FDA. Once a drug is approved, they will continue to perform case studies and compile research on that drug as it used by the general public. Unfortunately, it takes years to confirm side effects not reported by the manufacturer. When the FDA finds that the drug has new or more severe side effects than originally disclosed in the approval process, the FDA begins to restrict the product; sometimes this includes more blatant warnings on the product. More severe restrictions may include a total recall. This is the most severe step, as it takes the product completely off the market and completely restricts further sale or production.
FDA Recall Classification System
Based on the severity of side effects, the FDA classifies their recalls as follows:
- Class I Recall: The product or drug likely will cause injury or death
- Class II Recall: The product or device is likely to cause permanent damage
- Class III Recall: The product or device poses a risk lower than injury or death
The Difference Between Safety Alerts & Market Withdrawals
While the FDA is the ultimate authority on the safety of consumable products, they are not always the driving force behind the restriction of a drug, and a recall is not the only action taken.
- Market Withdrawal: The FDA is not taking legal recourse, but manufacturers of a product still suspend the product until the minor problem or problems can be fixed before continuing production and distribution.
- Safety Alerts: These are issued by the FDA to inform patients, insurance providers, and healthcare professionals of a drug or product’s potential hazards instead of taking the product off the market altogether.
Drug Injury FAQ
If a drug or medical device is FDA approved, can I still file a lawsuit?
If you suffered serious side effects or other harm from an FDA-approved drug or medical device, you may still be able to come forward with a lawsuit against its manufacturer or another at-fault party. FDA approval is a minimum standard for a company to market and release a product. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers still have an obligation to properly market their products and to release additional warnings or other measures to protect patients. If they fail to uphold this obligation and patients are injured as a result, they can be held liable. Our Louisiana drug injury lawyers can offer insight on this when you call for a consultation.
What is the statute of limitations for a drug injury lawsuit in Louisiana?
One year is the standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana. If you experienced harmful side effects from a pharmaceutical drug or were injured by a medical device, you have one year from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within the one-year time limit, you could lose your right to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
There are some exceptions to the Louisiana statute of limitations, however. If you were a child at the time of your injury, you may have 1 year from the time you turn 18 to come forward. The same applies from the date that you discovered—or should have reasonably discovered—that an injury was caused by a dangerous drug or defective medical device. There are situations where an injury may not be immediately apparent or linked to a drug or device. When this happens, you may have more time.
Who is responsible for side effects caused by dangerous pharmaceuticals?
One or more companies involved in the development, testing, manufacturing, and distribution of a prescription or over-the-counter medicine may be held accountable for serious side effects it causes. Even a doctor that prescribes medicine for off-market use could be held accountable. The goal will be to identify every party that played a part in causing you harm. When we identify these parties, we can hold them accountable for your medical bills, ongoing care, emotional trauma, lost wages, and more.
Hire a Strong Team of Louisiana Drug Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured or has developed a condition as a result of using a medical device or dangerous pharmaceutical drug, you are going to need a dynamic legal team to stand up to these industry titans and demand the compensation you deserve. The Louisiana injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin have taken Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson to court and won restitution for our clients.
Contact our firm at (888) 493-1629 for the relentless counsel and caring support you deserve.