Can I Sue if I Took Defective Medicine Years Ago?

Written by Atlee Hall

When you take prescribed medication, you’re trusting your medical caregiver with your health, and you’re trusting that the product you’re taking is safe.

At times, the US Food and Drug Administration will issue a recall for a medication. You may also notice a medication negatively affecting your health, even after you stop taking it.

Laws exist to help you recover compensation if you’ve taken defective medication, but you must ensure that you work quickly to comply with the statute of limitations.

What is Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations?

Pennsylvania law sets the statute of limitations at two years from the date of injury, with some exceptions, including for fraud or concealment.  This means that in general, an individual who believes he or she was injured due to a defective medication has two years to sue a manufacturer, supplier, or prescriber of that medication.

What’s Defective Medication?

Some people may develop problems from defective medication. This means that a drug meant to help the patient caused other harmful side effects.

These defects fall into three categories. In some cases, the side effects could stick with patients for the rest of their lives:

  • Manufacturing defects– the drug is improperly manufactured or has become contaminated during the manufacturing process and causes harm.
  • Design defects (Dangerous side effects)– the drug was correctly manufactured, but the side effects caused harm or injury.
  • Failure to warn (Defective marketing) – there is a failure to provide sufficient or appropriate instructions, warnings, or recommendations for the drug’s use.

What’s the Difference between a Medication Error and Defective Medication?

Sometimes, defective medication is confused with a medication error. In general, a medication error refers to errors in prescribing, distributing, and giving medications. An example of a medication error would be if a patient were to receive an incorrect medication or dosage while in the hospital.

While the results could be harmful, they do not mean that the medication itself was defective.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Pennsylvania has no cap or limit on the type of damages you can attempt to recoup in your suit. This means you can file for:

  • Economic Damages – Economic damages consist of your past and future lost monetary expenses. This includes medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Non-Economic Damages – These are not tangible losses. Instead, non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, embarrassment and humiliation, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Wrongful Death & Survival Damages – Wrongful death damages can be recovered by surviving family members, such as a spouse, child, or parent. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include medical, funeral, and estate expenses and an amount for losing a loved one’s future support. Survival damages are recovered on behalf of the person who passed away and includes their pain and suffering before death and their lost earnings.
  • Loss of Consortium – This is designed to compensate the injured person’s spouse for the loss of services, support, comfort, assistance, companionship, and the ability to engage in sexual relations.

Our Lancaster Attorneys Can Recover what you Lost

Medical and pharmaceutical companies are very knowledgeable of the legal landscape.

That is why you need an experienced lawyer to represent you in court and get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Atlee Hall, Attorneys at Law have decades of experience representing our clients in court. Call us today 717-393-9596 or complete our online form to start the process.