Manufacturers are Ultimately Liable for Injuries Resulting from their Defective Medications

In 2005, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 202,300 injuries and 20 deaths involving children 15 years old and below. These injuries and death are all toy-related.

Defects are not only found in toys. There are as many harmful defects as the number of the kinds of products available in the market, including vehicles, food and pharmaceutical products. With regard to food, an instance of food poisoning occurred in 2011; this was the listeriosis outbreak. Its effect was immediate, causing infection in 146 people, 30 deaths and 1 miscarriage – all those affected were from 28 different states.

Another type of harmful product is defective drugs, especially prescription drugs, which are formulated to serve as safe and effective treatment to serious health conditions. However, instead of delivering the cure they are intended to provide, many of them cause adverse effects that cause harm in patients and/or further worsen patients’ original health complaints.

Before being introduced into the market, a drug needs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first. Before approval by the FDA, however, the drug’s manufacturer first needs to show proofs that the drug has been tested and proven safe and effective for patient use.

Despite the extensive research and tests conducted by pharmaceutical experts, many drugs still get reported to the FDA as increasing the risk of the development of more serious illnesses or causing death in some of those who use them; hundreds of prescription drugs have been linked to either of the two or both. This may be due to either of these two reasons: first, since the drug companies are the ones sponsoring the tests conducted on their medical products, some keep the negative results detected from the medicine and submit only the positive outcome of the tests to the FDA. Second, despite the real effectiveness and safeness of the medicine, the patient’s immune system may not be strong enough to fight possible drug side-effects, or the patient may have a medical health condition or is taking another medication, causing the drug from working safely and effective in him/her. This is why it is important that doctors explain to their patients everything concerning the drug that they prescribe; about the drug’s possible effects and what health condition and which medication will not work well with it.

The Amerio Law says, “Hundreds of new drugs and medical products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States every year. In turn, they are utilized by thousands of patients suffering from a variety of ailments or medical issues. Sometimes, a drug or medical product is released to the public, and it is later found to be dangerous or defective, thus causing serious injuries… even death in some cases.

While many drugs have dangerous side effects, others have the potential to cause much more serious, long-term personal injury. Although the FDA plays a regulatory role in approving and monitoring their safety after approval of a drug, the manufacturer is ultimately liable for any injuries resulting from their medications… and they MUST be held accountable!”

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Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes: Continuously Threatening the Well-being of Senior Residents

According to the American Association for Justice, about 90% of nursing home facilities do not have enough qualified nurses and trained personnel who can provide residents with the quality care they need and which these very nursing facilities actually advertise and promise.

Nursing home facilities, also called Skilled Nursing Facility, Nursing Center, Convalescent Care or Long Term Care Facility, are designed for those who require round the clock custodial and skilled nursing care; these include adults (usually those aged 65 and above), physically or mentally incapacitated individuals, people who are ill and in need of rehabilitative therapy, and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Since these individuals are no longer capable of performing even the basic activities in daily living, trained facility staff members are tasked to provide them custodial care, which includes feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February of 2015, about 1.4 million residents are housed in 15,700 nursing homes facilities located in different parts of the US. Despite the need to house their elder loved one in a nursing home and despite the thousands of nursing facilities in each state, though, many families are unsure about which facility they should actually choose due to the widespread cases of neglect and abuse that cause residents more suffering, including physical injuries, emotional trauma, humiliation, self-pity, hatred, despair, and so forth.

In a study conducted by a staff from the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, it is shown that from January 1999 to January 2001, 9,000 instances of abuse in 5,283 nursing home facilities were committed. Some of these abuses or lack of care included inadequate medical care, inadequate sanitation and hygiene, and acts that resulted to dehydration, untreated bedsores, preventable accidents, and malnutrition. But besides physical abuse, residents were also subjected to other forms of unjust treatments, including financial abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse and, the most degrading of all, sexual abuse.

Despite the Nursing Home Reform Act that was enacted by the US Congress in 1987, which mandated the provision of services and activities that are gird towards the attainment or maintenance of the “highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care,” nursing home abuses and acts of neglect still continue to happen.

An abuse, as defined under Federal nursing home regulations, is any form of act that results to intimidation, unreasonable confinement, physical harm and/or mental anguish, and which purposely inflicts injury, or deprives care or service. Neglect, on the other hand, refers to any form of failure to provide a resident with the required care and service that will ensure ease of pain or freedom from harm, or failure to assist a resident during potentially dangerous situations which may result to harm or anxiety. Acts of neglect may by intentional or non-intentional.

According to the website of the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg law firm, a family that entrusts its loved one to a nursing facility has every reason to believe that he or she would only be treated with dignity and compassion throughout the duration of his or her stay. Failure to provide this dignified and compassionate treatment, which nursing homes promise to provide, much more subject an elder resident to abusive and neglectful treatment, gives the resident and his or her family the right to take action against the guilty party to hold them responsible.

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