Pharmaceutical Tort Litigation

Every year, U.S. consumers spend more than $200 billion on prescription drugs and more than $85 billion on medical devices, and those figures are expected to continue to rise as pharmaceutical companies aggressively market their products to an aging population. While modern medical advances have improved health and quality of life for many, pharmaceutical companies have been known to cut corners and disregard risks in the pursuit of profit. When unscrupulous companies produce, sell and improperly market medical products that are harmful or deadly, Farrar & Ball trial lawyers have the expertise to hold those responsible liable for injuries caused by their recklessness and negligence and failure to protect consumers.

Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations are designed to provide a degree of oversight and minimum safety standards for pharmaceutical products before they go on the market. In addition, drugmakers and device manufacturers have an ethical and legal duty to make safe products. But it’s too easy for reckless and negligent pharmaceutical companies to ignore regulators and disregard their ethical duties, exposing U.S. consumers to unnecessary health risks from defective medical and pharmaceutical products.

Manufacturers are bound by law to test and ensure that products are safe. When risks and dangerous side effects are known, pharmaceutical companies are required to alert regulators and the public. These duties continue even after a pharmaceutical product or medical device hits the market. Frequently, pharmaceutical makers find new and lucrative revenue streams by marketing a drug for uses beyond what the drugs have been approved for – a practice known as off-label marketing. This practice can be dangerous and even life-threatening if drugs and medical devices have not been adequately tested.

One indicator of pharmaceutical companies’ failure to adequately test products can be found in the steady increase in the number of recalled drugs every year. Recalls are actions taken by a firm to remove a dangerous product from the market. Recalls may be conducted on a firm’s own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority. Such recalls have surged in recent years, along with reports of health complications caused by defective medical products. Sadly, it often takes hundreds or thousands of injuries before a dangerous drug or defective medical device is recalled. That means some hazardous pharmaceuticals end up doing more harm than good.
Recent pharmaceutical recalls include:

  • Yasmin – Manufactured by Bayer as a birth control, Yaz or Yasmin has been known to cause nausea, vomiting, headache and bloating, and, more seriously, blood clots.
  • Transvaginal Mesh – A net-like implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. This product’s design and implantation technique contributed to serious complications, such as erosion and organ perforation.
  • Propecia – Propecia, which includes a dose of finasteride, was originally marketed by Merck as Proscar and was used for treatment of prostate enlargement, and later for male pattern baldness. Known complications and side effects include increased incidence of male breast cancer, male breast enlargement, sexual dysfunction, impotence and erectile disfunction, and depression.
  • Lipitor – Manufactured by Pfizer, Lipitor is marketed to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing the risk of chest pain, stroke, heart attack and certain heart and blood vessel problems. Lipitor belongs to a class of drugs known as statins and its generic name is atorvastatin. Documented side effects include heart attacks and symptoms that can be mistaken for food poisoning or the flu, as well as sudden muscle weakness and fatigue. More serious side effects include liver problems and type II diabetes.
  • Zofran – Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Zofran (ondansetron) is prescribed to pregnant women as a treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Studies have linked this medication to birth defects.

When a bad drug that has been recalled causes deadly or dangerous side effects, the manufacturer can be held legally responsible for its safety failures. Farrar & Ball’s trial lawyers have experience representing injured consumers and holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for the reckless and negligent practices. Our trial lawyers start every case with an aggressive investigation that identifies all responsible parties and relentless pursuit of incriminating documents and information. We approach every case with the assumption that it will end up in front of a judge and jury. Contact Farrar & Ball for more information.

Video & Visuals

Tire Demo without Nylon Wedge

This video animation demonstrates how steel belts inside a tire without a nylon wedge can generate dangerous amounts of friction. Learn More

Michelin Tire Recommendations

Corporate tire industry video documents safety concerns when two new tires are mounted on back of vehicle. Learn More

Tire Demo with Belt Wedge

This demonstrative evidence video animation is used to show jurors the components of a tire and illustrates how tires without “belt wedges” can generate dangerous friction between the steel belts. Learn More

Modern Tire Diagram

This demonstrative evidence image shows a cross section of a modern tire with liners, belts, nylon overlay and undertread. Learn More

Replacing Tires Guidelines

Corporate tire industry video explains safety and performance issues when only two tires are replaced on a vehicle, and how vehicle handling is affected by placement of tires. Learn More

Tread Separation Test

Video created by Carr Engineering Inc. to document a tread separation test with a Ford Explorer. Test shows that even an expert driver with knowledge that a tread separation event is imminent still cannot maintain control of the vehicle. Learn More

Tire Demo with Nylon Over Wrap

A video animation used as demonstrative evidence to illustrate for jurors the components of a tire, including belts, liners and tread base. This animation demonstrates how two belt liners rubbing together can create friction that leads to tire failure. Learn More

Ford Explorer Crash Testing

Short video documenting an SUV on a test track flipping and rolling, then crashing into a guard rail. Learn More

Nylon Safety Strips

Demonstrative evidence illustration used to explain to jurors the components of a tire designed with nylon safety strips in addition to steel belts. Learn More

Nylon Safety Belt

Side-by-side demonstrative evidence used to explain to jurors the differences between a cap ply tire with a nylon safety belt compared to a traditional steel-belted tire. Learn More

Mercury Mountaineer Tire Testing

Demonstrative evidence showing three different camera angles of a 2001 Mercury Moutaineer performing a controlled maneuver with a defective tire. Learn More

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