Failure-To-Warn Lawsuits Concerning Medications: What Happens When There Is No Warning

Posted on: 30 June 2018


A specific area of product liability concerns "failure-to-warn" cases. In these instances, consumers were harmed or died because a manufacturer or product packaging company didn't adequately warn consumers of the possible dangers of the product. It may or may not exclude "common sense" cases where an assumption should have been made about potential dangers of a product. If you feel that you have a "failure-to-warn" product liability case concerning medications, examine the following. Then seek out product liability attorney services.

Lack of a Label

It is highly unusual to purchase medication and not have it come with a label. This happens a lot more often with over-the-counter (OTC) medications and medicines than it does with pharmaceuticals. Most pharmacies are required by law to clearly label medications and provide a printed warning and usage sheet for EVERY medication. With the OTC meds, machines typically wrap and package these, and sometimes the machines miss or skip bottles.

Lack of an Instruction Sheet

In general, OTC medicines and medications have instructions on the box as well as on a bottle, if applicable. To make absolutely certain that consumers have all the information they need, instruction sheets are often folded into compact squares or rectangles and inserted into the boxes. If there was no instruction sheet, and the bottle and box did not contain dosage and side effect information and warnings, and you (or another family member) were harmed, you can sue.

Power and Purpose of Medication/Medicine

It is safe to assume that cough and cold medicines are for coughs and colds, flu medicines for flu, allergy medicines for allergies, etc.. However, there are several  medicines and medications that are pharmacy-strength being sold as OTCs now, and many of these should never be taken together. Likewise, people often take some medicines for other purposes not listed on the labels.

There should be adequate warnings printed somewhere on or inside the packaging of these medications, as well as labels declaring medicines as "prescription strength." Lacking such warnings, purposes, and strength labels leads to overdoses, and sometimes, death. Whether these important pieces of information were accidentally left out, or intentionally left out, the results are sadly and unfortunately the same; consumers are hurt.

When You Did Not Read the Information

When all necessary information has been provided, but you chose to swig cough syrup as though it were Schnapps (just an example!), the courts might dismiss your case. Some judges would consider this negligence on your part, and not that of any group or company tied to the product. Of course, state laws differ, so consult with a law firm like Bennett  Law Firm PC.