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Products liability lawsuit alleges insufficient warning

Medical advances and innovations in pharmaceuticals have both increased average life expectancies and improved the quality of life for many people. As a result, many Virginia residents expect that the drugs and treatments prescribed by their doctors will help, and not harm, them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, however, and many products liability lawsuits involve pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers.

The makers of a drug prescribed for atrial fibrillation are currently being sued by a woman who alleges that she suffered severe bleeding as a result of using the drug. The drug is an anticoagulant and was marketed as a "one size fits all" alternative to another drug commonly used to treat stroke and embolism patients. Marketing efforts around the drug focused on its simplicity as compared with the other drug and claimed that there was no need for periodic monitoring with blood testing or dietary restrictions. The lawsuit emphasizes the misleading and inaccurate advertising materials which failed to warn of the serious bleeding-related risks associated with use of the drug. The woman seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the defendants' negligence, unreasonable marketing, products liability and other claims.

When Virginia consumers suffer harm or injury from a product they bought or used, the damages can be quite severe. Especially in cases involving prescription drugs or medical treatments, the physical harm can be devastating, permanent and extremely limiting. Drug manufacturers are responsible not only for ensuring that their drugs are manufactured safely but also for ensuring that warnings are adequate and that patients and doctors are properly apprised of any potential risks.

Whether a products liability claim involves a drug or another type of consumer product, manufacturers and sellers can face liability in a range of circumstances. If there are risks associated with using a drug or product, insufficient warning to consumers can be the basis of products liability lawsuit. Design defects can also create liability, especially if a company's efforts to cut costs resulted in the inferior design. Manufacturing defects are another type of error that can create product liability. Virginia consumers who have suffered injury from a drug or product may want to consult with an attorney experienced in this area to determine what legal options may exist.

Source: Pennsylvania Record, "Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Corp. named in products liability claim over anticoagulant drug Xarelto," Jon Campisi, Feb. 25, 2014

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