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IL injury lawyerMost people take prescription or over-the-counter medications from time to time. Whether the medication is for a heart defect, blood pressure problem, skin condition, or another medical concern, you probably trust that the medications you take are safe and effective. Unfortunately, medications with dangerous defects sometimes make their way into consumers’ hands. If you were harmed by a defective drug, you may be left with terrible side effects and insurmountable medical expenses. In some cases, a person who was injured by a defective medication may be entitled to financial compensation.

Drug Defects That May Lead to Product Liability Claims

The United States pharmaceutical industry is worth approximately $482 billion. Although pharmaceutical companies are responsible for countless beneficial and often life-saving medications, there are also times when a medication causes more harm than good. Pharmaceutical companies have a legal duty to ensure that the drugs they manufacture and sell are safe, effective, and meet quality standards. They must also disclose the potential side effects associated with the medication. A medication may be considered defective if it:

  • Was manufactured using the wrong ingredients
  • Contains ingredients of the wrong amounts
  • Poses severe side effects
  • Contains only inactive ingredients

Pharmaceutical companies also have a legal duty to warn consumers of the risks associated with the drug. If a pharmaceutical company knew that the drug carried certain risks and failed to make this information available, it may be liable for any harm caused to consumers of the drug.

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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most people, you have probably used more hand sanitizer in the last few months than you ever did previously. When reports about COVID-19 first started making headlines, stores quickly ran out of bleach, soap, hand sanitizer, and other sanitizing products. Now, most people have the supplies they need but there is a new concern that some hand sanitizers contain toxic ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration has released a list of recalled hand sanitizer products that should not be used. It is very possible that concerns about these defective products will lead to product liability claims.

Product Manufacturers May Have Substituted Methanol for Ethanol

Most hand sanitizers contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol which is the active ingredient that kills bacteria and viruses. However, some hand sanitizers are labeled as containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol but actually contain methanol as well. Methanol, also called wood alcohol, can be very dangerous – especially to children. The substance can have significant harmful effects if it is absorbed through the skin and is often fatal if swallowed. Exposure to methanol can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and damage to the nervous system. In extreme cases, the substance can cause seizures, blindness, and coma. The FDA is worried that these products may be accidentally ingested by children or consumed by adults with addiction problems who are using the product as a substitute for alcohol. If you experience any of the above symptoms after using a product containing methanol, the FDA recommends seeking immediate medical treatment for methanol poisoning.

FDA Warns Consumers to Be Wary of Hand Sanitizers Advertising Unproven Claims

The FDA is also concerned that some hand sanitizer manufacturing companies are making false claims about the effectiveness of their products. The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. If soap and water is not available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol. However, many hand sanitizers do not meet this standard. Consumers should also be suspicious of products that claim to offer extended protection from viruses and bacteria or those that are marketed as “FDA-approved.” The company that manufactures Purell hand sanitizer has already been served with a class-action lawsuit due to allegations that the company exaggerated the effectiveness of its products.

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Lake County personal injury attorneyThe companies that design and manufacture consumer products have a legal obligation to ensure that these products are reasonably safe and do not pose an unnecessary risk to consumers. Unfortunately, carelessness and mistakes can cause some products to have dangerous and even life-threatening defects. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, you may be wondering what your legal options are. A product liability claim is a personal injury lawsuit involving injuries caused by a flawed or dangerous product. Through a product liability claim, an injured person or the loved ones of a deceased person may be eligible for financial compensation.

Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

Product liability claims may involve defective medical devices such as insulin pumps, automotive parts such as air bags or tires, children’s products such as sleepers or toys, food, drugs, and much more. Some product liability claims are based on the fact that the product’s design was already dangerously flawed before the product was even manufactured. The product may be structurally unstable, excessively flammable, contain toxic substances, represent a choking hazard to children, or is otherwise dangerous to the intended consumers of the product. 

Other product liability claims are based on mistakes made during the manufacturing or assembly process. Some examples of manufacturing defects include contaminated food or medication, products that are missing pieces, or products that are not assembled correctly. Product liability claims may also be a result of defects in the way the product is marketed to the consumer. Marketing defects most often involve products that do not contain sufficient warnings or instructions for proper use.

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Waukegan product liability attorneysYou may have already heard the news about a serious E. coli outbreak caused by contaminated romaine lettuce in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating three different E. coli outbreaks which are thought to have originated at farms in Salinas, California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising consumers to throw away any lettuce that they currently have which was grown in the Salinas region including packages of salad mixes, hearts of romaine, and even organic romaine lettuce. Restaurants and retailers are expected to throw out contaminated lettuce as well. If you or a loved one have contacted an E. coli infection after being exposed to contaminated romaine lettuce, you may be eligible for compensation through a defective product injury claim.

Symptoms of E. coli Infection

According to the CDC, 102 individuals from 23 different states including Illinois have been infected with E. coli due to the tainted lettuce. Ten of these individuals developed kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Fortunately, no deaths have been linked to the contaminated lettuce, but E. coli infections can sometimes be fatal. Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea which may be bloody, severe stomach cramps, fever, and vomiting. Symptoms often become apparent about 3-4 days after eating contaminated food or drink.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Foods Contaminated with E. coli

If you or a loved one have suffered from an E. coli infection due to contaminated lettuce, a personal injury claim may help you recover compensation. Presuming negligence was involved, fault for your illness may lie with the company that grew the lettuce, the distributor, a retailer, or the restaurant that served you the contaminated lettuce. You may be able to get compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses like hospital bills, prescription medication costs, expenses related to diagnostic tests, and more. You may also be able to receive compensation for the time you had to take off of work because of your illness. Noneconomic damages such as your physical pain and emotional suffering may also be available.  

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Waukegan product liability attorneysWhen we use or consume a product, most of us assume that there are no dangers associated with the product. In the United States, governmental agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Food and Drug Administration are tasked with ensuring that the products we use every day are safe. Unfortunately, defective products or products containing unsafe ingredients can still find their way onto store shelves. Most recently, the popular over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac has been recalled in the U.S. and Canada over fears that it could increase consumers’ risk of cancer.

Drug Manufacturer Recalls Zantac

Sanofi SA, a French drug manufacturing company, recently announced that they will be recalling Zantac until further information about the drug’s ingredients can be analyzed. Health agencies have investigated the drug because it contains N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing impurity.

The generic version of Zantac is called ranitidine. Many manufacturers of ranitidine have already stopped distribution and pharmacy chains across the country have suspended sale of any over-the-counter medications containing ranitidine.

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