If you're one of the millions of Americans who rely on prescription drugs or medical devices to live life to the fullest, you expect the products you use to be safe. At the very least, you expect the company producing these products to inform you of any risks of harm you encounter with their products. The last thing you want is for them to make your health worse. So when pharmaceutical corporations fail to deliver safe products, the effects could be devastating on your health and your family’s lives.
There are a number of reasons a defective drug or medical device can get market approval, even with FDA requirements and regulations in place to stop that from happening. While they create products that help people, multinational pharmaceutical companies are ultimately focused on profit. As a result, patients’ rights can sometimes go out the window.
But drug and medical device makers have a legal duty to disclose any dangerous side effects and to properly test hair products for safety. Pharmaceutical companies are prohibited from marketing drugs or devices that are unreasonably dangerous or defective.
How does a defective drug or device get on the market?
- Certain long-term side effects are only discovered decades after market approval
- A pharmaceutical company rushes to get approval before doing enough research to fully understand the side effects of the drug or device
- A defect in the manufacturing process contaminates batches of product
- The company did not appropriately investigate what were considered minor safety issues in the product development process
At Kramer Injury Law, we fight to protect your rights as a patient and a consumer – you deserve to trust in the safety and efficacy of the prescriptions and medical devices you use to improve your health. Additionally, you have the right to informed consent when making medical decisions. You cannot make informed consent if a medical device manufacturer negligently fails to disclose all of the relevant information from your doctor.
When pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices turn out defective, severe injury, illness, or death can result. You may end up developing additional medical conditions while you’re already being treated for something else. In the worst-case scenario, some patients even lose their lives.
Even a small act of negligence could hurt millions of people across the country. And while a lawsuit cannot undo your injury, the law can help offset the pain you’ve suffered and hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their mistakes.
Whether you've been personally hurt or your family member has suffered, Kramer Injury Law is here to help. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have taken cases all the way through trial against massive international pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Our talented legal team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, covering medical costs and helping them heal and move on with their lives.
We know what you're going through and we're here to take some of the burden of your injury off your shoulders. We know that the last thing you need to think about right now is whether you can even afford a lawyer. You deserve the best representation for your case no matter your financial situation, which is why we take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You don't have to worry about paying us until we recover damages for you.
Find out if you have a case now – call us at (312) 775-1012 for a free, no-risk consultation.
Prescription Drug and Pharmaceutical Injury
Millions of Americans take prescriptions every day to maintain and support their health. The public trusts the FDA to properly evaluate and vet any new pharmaceutical drugs to hit the market. And yet, medical recalls happen all the time.
Recent pharmaceutical drug recalls have included:
- Belviq, a weight-loss drug that was found to cause cancer in patients
- Allergan Biocell textured implants, recalled over cancer risk
- Johnson & Johnson talcum baby powder, recalled over traces of asbestos
Sometimes, prescription or over-the-counter drugs that have been on the market for decades are later exposed as harmful. Some drugs have ended up causing worse conditions than they were made to treat – like Zantac causing a risk of cancer. At that point, millions of people could have been taking the medication for years, building up their risk over time.
It can be frightening to find out that a drug you've been taking is being recalled. It's natural to feel betrayed, especially if you've been making efforts to improve your health. When you find out about a recall that affects you, you should speak with your doctor immediately. If you've suffered injury or harm, you should also speak with a drug injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Pharmaceutical injury cases can seem daunting to patients because they're facing large international corporations with deep pockets and small armies of lawyers. But none of that should matter when justice is on the line. The dedicated attorneys at Kramer Injury Law are passionate about getting our clients the help and compensation they deserve. When you hire us for our drug injury expertise, you level the playing field. We have experience in litigation with billions of dollars at stake.
As your lawyer, we can help you in every aspect of your case, including:
- Getting the medical care you need to get better
- Investigating the facts of your case to find evidence of wrongdoing
- Holding pharmaceutical companies and other responsible parties accountable
- Fighting for your right to compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered
We never give up, even when we encounter resistance from companies reluctant to admit their negligence or fault. With our track record of success recovering millions of dollars for our clients, pharmaceutical companies know they're in for a fight.
Call our Cook County offices today at (312) 775-1012 for your free case consultation. You may also request a free case evaluation online.
Injuries from Defective Medical Devices
Millions of patients nationwide rely on medical devices to maintain their health or stay alive. When these devices malfunction, it could be a matter of life or death.
To make matters worse, some medical devices that go inside the body could last years or decades until their defect becomes known. By that time, millions more could be affected.
The FDA recalled over 30 medical devices and supplies from the market in 2020. Recent medical device recalls in the last few years have included:
- Medtronic MiniMed 600 series insulin pumps for giving patients wrong doses of insulin
- Becton Dickinson Alaris System Pump Modules for software and system errors
- Cardinal Health surgical gowns that may have been contaminated during production
- Abbott coronary dilation catheters that support blood vessels in heart attack patients
- ResMed Stellar ventilators made to help patients breathe
- 55 different types of hand sanitizer found to have the toxic substance methanol
Recalled defective devices have resulted in countless injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths.
If you are one of the millions affected by defective medical devices, you’re not alone and the law can help. At Kramer Injury Law, our attorneys have the experience and expertise it takes to successfully handle all the complications that arise in defective medical device cases.
Different Types of Medical Devices
Medical devices are so common in our world that we often take them for granted. They can range from thermometers to blood sugar monitors to implants.
- When diagnostic devices like MRI machines are defective, they may fail to properly detect a medical condition or give too many false positives.
- When medical devices used on or inside the body to manage various health conditions malfunction, it can put the patient’s health at risk. Examples include surgical stents, vascular grafting, orthopedic pins, pacemakers, etc.
Defective medical device cases are often complex, involving both personal injury and products liability issues. When a dangerous drug or medical device affects a large number of patients, the case could even become a consolidated litigation or multidistrict litigation (MDL) that represents all their interests.
Types of Medical Device Defects
While most medical devices go through rigorous testing and safety regulations, a defect could cause even the most beneficial medical device to become dangerous.
- A medical device could be defective as a product design flaw
- A problem with the manufacturing process could cause the defect
- The product may not come with the proper warnings or instructions
- Defective marketing could mislead users about the device
Medical devices also involve a number of moving parts – you've got product designers, manufacturers, intermediary suppliers and sellers, and medical providers all in the mix. A lot can go wrong between a product idea and that device’s actual use with patients.
Sometimes, medical device issues arise out of other medical negligence. For example:
- The device may not be properly sterilized before being used
- The device may not be inserted or used correctly
- Your medical provider may fail to monitor the device properly while it's being used
- Your medical provider may even knowingly use or implant a product that’s defective
As a patient, you have the right to a certain standard of care. Your medical device injury may even involve claims of medical malpractice.
Medical device cases can become complicated quickly, with many layers of responsibility. Do you sue the manufacturer, the hospital, your doctor, or someone else? Whose fault is it?
In a medical device injury lawsuit, putting the responsibility on the right party is a big part of what makes a claim successful. But establishing fault isn't easy and requires proof. You're just a single patient and you're dealing with an injury. How are you supposed to find evidence or proof against a large hospital or medical device manufacturer?
This is where an experienced medical device injury lawyer comes in. Even in the realm of personal injury law, medical devices and pharmaceutical injuries are unique In their complexity. At Kramer Injury Law, our experienced attorneys can help you investigate your claim, establish who's at fault, and put together a successful case for your medical device injury.
Call our Chicago offices now at (312) 775-1012 for your free consultation. You may also request a free case evaluation online.
Wrongful Death Caused by Defective Drugs or Devices
In the worst-case scenario, patients who take defective drugs or medical devices can lose their lives because of it. This can be devastating for the families they leave behind.
Nothing can make up for the void of losing a loved one. In addition to your grief, you may be dealing with a major loss of income for your family. You may have mounting medical bills from trying to treat your loved one’s illness and making arrangements after their loss.
While a lawsuit cannot undo your loss, a settlement or trial judgment can help you move forward with less of a burden on your family. A lawsuit can help you cover:
- Any medical expenses taken on by your family while treating your loved one’s condition
- Lost wages and future earnings as a result of losing your loved one
- Expenses relating to the funeral and other arrangements
- Pain and suffering – mental anguish and loss of companionship, society, and services
When filing a lawsuit on behalf of someone who has passed away, your case is called a “wrongful death” lawsuit. In Illinois, you have up to two years after the date of your loved one's passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
All the two years may sound like a long time, it's important to get started on your case as soon as possible instead of delaying it. A wrongful death lawsuit based on defective medical products can take anywhere between several months to years to complete, for a number of reasons:
- When lives are lost, the stakes are higher than ever.
- Cases that involve defective medical products tend to be complex both in terms of gathering evidence and establishing fault.
- Large corporations might stonewall or try to delay your case.
- If your family member was affected by a product on the market, it's possible that thousands or millions of other people were affected as well.
- A multidistrict litigation or class action case can spread wide in scope.
As a result, you want to contact a personal injury lawyer about your wrongful death case as soon as possible. Our lawyers at Kramer Injury Law are trained and highly experienced in complex medical injuries like the one you may be facing now. Whether you settle out of court or go to trial, no case is too big or small for us to handle. Call our Cook County offices today at (312) 775-1012 for a free consultation of your case. You may also request a free case evaluation online.
Contingency Fee Arrangements
Whether you or a loved one has suffered a drug or device injury, at Kramer Law we know that the last thing you need to think about now is how you’ll afford a lawyer for your case.
That’s why we take drug and device injury cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means that you don't pay us until we recover compensation for your claim. With a contingency fee, you don't have to deal with legal fees upfront. Instead, legal fees will come out of whatever payout you get at the end of your case. As a result, we have a stake in the success of your case, too.
At Kramer Injury Law, we put our money where our mouth is. We take on medical device cases that we believe have a strong chance of success and we work hard to see that success through for our clients. When it comes to your case, we’re all in with you.
Call our Chicago office today for your free consultation at (312) 775-1012.
Out-of-Trial Settlement or Trial Judgment?
A drug or medical device injury case can go one of two ways:
- You negotiate an out-of-court settlement agreement with the responsible parties, or
- You go to trial and a judge or jury decides the judgment.
Settlement negotiations could resolve a case in just several months. But if a case ends up going to trial, it could take years until you get a resolution or compensation.
Ironically, the more prepared you are to succeed in a trial, the more likely you are to negotiate a settlement agreement outside of court. The better you can show your chance of success in front of a judge or jury, the more incentive you'll give the responsible party to settle early.
At Kramer Law, we work to get you the best outcome possible – whether that means a settlement agreement or a trial judgment. We prepare all of our drug and device injury cases as if they're going to trial from the beginning. That way you can present your strongest case straight out of the gate, increasing your chances of settling early.
On the other hand, you don't want to take just any settlement agreement offered to you. A large corporation could offer you a quick but low settlement that seems attractive to cover some expenses and move on. But you only have one chance to bring up your case. Once you settle or a judgment is made, you cannot bring up the same claim again. So if you settle for much less than you're actually owed, you could be leaving a lot on the table.
Our experienced lawyers can help you get the settlement you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug & Medical Device Injury
Personal injury and wrongful death cases are extremely fact-specific. It's impossible to tell how well your case may fare until all of the circumstances are taken into account. Our lawyers can help answer any questions you have about your case at (312) 775-1012. You may also request a free case evaluation online.
How Do You File a Defective Drug or Medical Device Lawsuit?
Not all side effects count as defects, even if they have serious risks. Most pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices come with side effects and risk factors of varying severity. To be defective, the adverse side effects must generally be worse than the potential benefits of the drug or device and the manufacturer 1.) knew or should have known of the adverse side effect but 2.) failed to appropriately warn the public of the risk.
You can file a defective drug or medical device lawsuit if you can show fault through either negligence or products liability. You may even have a claim for medical malpractice if your doctor knew of the risk and either 1.) inappropriately used the drug or medical device or 2.) failed to tell you about a significant risk.
To file a lawsuit based on products liability, you must show either:
- The product was defectively manufactured or designed,
- The drug or medical device has a dangerous side effect, or
- The product is improperly marked or marketed.
Products liability cases are often based on strict liability, which makes manufacturers financially responsible for the products that they put on the market. That means drug or medical device manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by their products even if they simply should have known their product was defective, regardless of whether or not they actually knew of the defect.
To file a products liability lawsuit based on negligence, you must show that:
- The responsible party had a duty of care to produce a “reasonably safe product,”
- It produced a product the average consumer would not realize is dangerous,
- The defect was the actual and proximate cause of the injury.
Drug and medical device manufacturers also have a duty to warn patients of the dangers and side effects of using their products. They can be financially responsible for injuries if their failure to warn caused the drug or device to be dangerous.
You’d file your lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injury, which could include:
- The device manufacturer or pharmaceutical company that made the drug
- The testing lab(s) that played a part in authorizing the product on the market
- Pharmaceutical sales representatives who may have misrepresented the product or its side effects to healthcare providers
- The pharmacy that counseled you on how to use the product
- A hospital, clinic, or any other company within the chain of distribution
The first step to filing a drug or device injury or wrongful death lawsuit based on defective drugs or medical devices is to contact an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer.
Based on the specific facts of your case, your lawyer can help you establish:
- What type of legal claims you have in your lawsuit, and
- Who is the responsible party that should be targeted in your lawsuit?
Your lawyer can also help you investigate your claim and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. The stronger your proof, the stronger your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Illinois Drug or Device Injury Cases?
Personal injury lawsuits are civil claims that get decided in civil court.
Generally, the Illinois statute of limitations gives two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time, you can lose your chance to pursue damages based on your claim.
However, the statute of limitations may extend for drugs and medical devices with defects that are not discovered or don’t cause injuries until years later. Technically, the clock doesn’t start ticking until you have a “discovered” your claims. This is the point where you discover (or reasonably should have discovered) your injury and that it was wrongfully caused. You’ll have 2 years to file your lawsuit after both of these things occur.
The statute of limitations may also be extended in the case of minors or mental incapacitation.
How Do You Calculate Damages for Drug or Device Injuries?
Illinois law allows for economic and non-economic damages to be paid to the injured party to compensate them for their losses. These cover losses from:
- Bills and expenses related to treating the medical injury caused by the drug or device
- Loss of income if you or your loved one can no longer work because of an injury
- Loss of future earnings and earning potential if you experience long-term disability
- Any out-of-pocket expenses you’ve suffered as a result of the injury
- Noneconomic damages like Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
- Punitive damages, rarely, if the defendant engaged in especially reckless conduct
Illinois has no limit on the amount of damages you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit.
It's important to calculate an estimate of your damages even if you hope to settle out of court. Your settlement negotiations will be based on how much a judge or jury is likely to compensate you. The more severe your injury, the more you can expect in damages.
In wrongful death cases, Illinois juries are instructed to award “fair and just” compensation in proportion to the losses resulting from the death. When determining what amount is fair and just, a jury can take into account the grief, mental suffering, and sorrow of surviving family members. Damages are then split up among surviving family members based on how much the court determines that they depended on the deceased person.
Does Illinois Award Non-Economic Damages in Injury Cases?
Yes. Non-economic damages cover many intangible damages, but the most common are “pain and suffering,” “disability/loss of normal life,” and “emotional distress.” As you can see, they compensate for the experiential, mental or emotional harm you experience. Unlike economic damages that cover bills and expenses with an actual dollar amount, non-economic damages are much more difficult to estimate and quantify which is why you should hire a qualified attorney like Kramer Injury Law that will help you articulate these damages.
The more serious, long-term, and debilitating your injuries, the more you can generally expect in pain and suffering damages.
Can You Get Punitive Damages for Drug or Device Injuries in Illinois?
Yes. While compensatory damages are meant to compensate you for your injury, punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party for bad behavior and deter similar behavior from happening again in the future (by that party or anyone else).
Punitive damages can come into play when a drug or medical device manufacturer acts with:
- An evil motive as shown by clear and convincing evidence,
- Reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm, or
- A conscious indifference to the rights and safety of others.
Punitive damages may be appropriate in your case if the responsible party:
- Knew about the defect and its health risks but actively hid or concealed the facts
- Manipulated or tampered with testing data to get market approval
- Harassed, threatened, or retaliated against employees, medical professionals, or patients who voiced concerns about the defective product
- Failed to take even the most basic safety precautions
- Forged paperwork in order to cover up the defect
The more morally reprehensible their behavior, the higher the potential settlement.
Punitive damages are calculated separately from other types of damages. In addition, the standard of proof you need to get punitive damages is higher than with other damages.
For compensatory damages, you must only show a preponderance of the evidence or a greater than 50% chance that what you claim is true. For punitive damages, the clear and convincing evidence standard demands your claim be significantly more likely to be true than not. The judge or jury must have a “firm belief or conviction” that your claims are true and authorize the use of this category of damages, which is why they are only awarded in the most extreme circumstances.
Generally speaking, Illinois case law has placed a cap on the amount of punitive damages you can receive at 3 times the total economic and noneconomic damages you get for your claim. So if you get $100,000 for your injury claim, you could receive up to $300,000 in punitive damages based on the defendant's bad behavior. There have been instances where the Courts have awarded a lower amount than three times the injury claim award.
How Can You Tell if You Have a Drug or Device Injury Case?
The best way to tell if you have an injury case based on a defective drug or device is to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you get started on your case, the better you can gather evidence on your injury while it's fresh. Plus, the Illinois statute of limitations gives you a 2-year limit to file your claim, after which you could lose your chance.
When you call our offices at Kramer Injury Law, we can help you parse through the facts of your case to tell whether or not you have a promising lawsuit. Your consultation is free. Because we work on contingency fee, you don’t pay us until we recover a payout for you.
Call our offices now for your no-risk consultation at (312) 775-1012. You may also request a free case evaluation online. Let our lawyers handle your case so that you can focus on your recovery.