Fluoroquinolones, also called FLQs, are a group of synthetically-made antibiotics. FLQs are used to treat a broad spectrum of conditions and symptoms, including pneumonia.
Common brand names for FLQs are Cipro and Levaquin. These medications work by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria through processes involved in their DNA.
FLQs are popular and they are frequently prescribed. However, they are also associated with certain specific dangers, risks, and side-effects, which may include:
- Heart attack;
- Nerve damage; and
- Specific conditions such as aortic aneurysm.
What is the Current Legal Status of FLQs?
At the present time, FLQs are legal and, similar to all other medications, are subject to regulation. However, there is one significant issue that often arises with regard to FLQs, which is that they typically do not contain proper warning mechanisms regarding their risks. This is especially the case for aortic aneurysms, or the bulging or possible bursting of aortic vessels.
The FDA is considering a requirement for increased warning protections on FLQs. There are, however, many groups that already consider FLQs to be associated with warning defect issues.
What are Warning Defects?
Warning defects, or warning label defects, are the basis of a legal theory for defective products liability lawsuits. Warning label defects may occur when a manufacturer of a product fails to include a sufficient warning for the product. This deficiency could be in the warning label, in the description on the side of the package, or in other places that provide information on the product.
Consumers may be seriously injured from products that have warning label defects. This is especially true in cases where a product is already dangerous to use on its own, such as products with sharp edges, including knives, as well as heated surfaces or toxic chemicals.
It is important to note that a warning defect is only one of the three different types of product defects. There are also two other types of product defects, design defects and manufacturing defects.
Design defects occur when a product is designed poorly and, as a result, causes injury. A manufacturing defect is a defect in the way the product is made or put together.
What Qualifies as a Warning Defect?
There are many things which can qualify as a warning defect. Common scenarios that occur which causes a claim of a warning defect to arise includes:
- The manufacturer completely fails to affix any type of warning label at all;
- The instructions on the warning label are unclear or contain mistakes;
- The warning label is attached or posted on the product in a way that makes it impractical or impossible to read, such as using too small of a font, the label is not easily noticeable, or the color of the font is very light; or
- The attached warning label is for an entirely different product.
Any of these warning defects can easily lead to a lawsuit if an individual is injured directly due to the warning defect. In the majority of cases, a victim, or plaintiff, must show that both the product and the warning defect were the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
In addition, a plaintiff must show that they did not contribute to the resulting injuries or damage because of their own negligence or carelessness. Otherwise, the plaintiff may lose their lawsuit as well as the possibility to recover damages for their claim.
Who can be Held Liable for an FLQ Injury?
The liability for an injury or damaging side effects caused by a FLQ can be attributable to various parties. Parties who may be liable include:
- Nursing and hospital staff, which are often implicated in malpractice claims;
- Doctors, physicians, and pharmacists, especially with a prescription or medication error); and
- Product manufacturers and distributors, especially with defective products.
In many cases, FLQ injuries can result in legal claims for damages. An award of damages may be issued from a liable party to an injured party in order to cover expenses and costs related to their injury, including:
- Hospital bills;
- Additional medical bills;
- Lost wages; and
- Additional costs.
In some cases, an FLQ lawsuit may be filed as a class action lawsuit. This is especially the case for injuries stemming from broad warning label issues.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit which is brought by one or more individuals on behalf of a group of individuals in a similar situation. All members are required to share similar legal issues and there must be a large enough number of individuals that it would not make sense to bring separate lawsuits.
In addition, the class is required to be certified by a court to bring an action. A court will consider the following issues prior to certification:
- The plaintiffs will adequately represent the interests of the entire class;
- There are no conflicts of interest;
- The plaintiffs must be competent;
- The claims of the representative group are similar and they represent the entire class; and
- The question of fact must arise from one act or a pattern of conduct by the defendant.
To begin, an individual or group of individuals will bring a class action lawsuit against a defendant. A court will then determine whether or not to certify the lawsuit as a class action. If the court does certify the group, that original group will represent the entire class action group and the claim will move forward as a class action lawsuit.
What are Some Possible Legal Remedies for a Warning Label Defect Claim?
Many cases which involve warning label defects are associated with a claim for personal injuries which resulted from the warning defect. Therefore, a plaintiff who is able to prove that their injuries were caused by a warning defect will typically be able to receive a monetary damages award.
A monetary damages award can allow a plaintiff to recover for their losses, as noted above, which may include medical expenses, lost earning potential, and other costs which were lost in direct relation to the injury.
Another consequence which may result from a warning defect claim is that the product may be subjected to a recall. When products are recalled, they have to be removed from stores and the public must be notified of the recall. If recalled, the product will no longer be eligible to be legally sold in commerce, and, typically, all affected consumers can obtain a refund from the company for the product.
In addition, a manufacturer may receive a find for violating product liability laws. A manufacturer should always consider hiring an attorney to review or write their warning labels in order to avoid facing a future lawsuit for a warning label defect.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Fluoroquinolone Injury?
It is essential to have the assistance of a defective products lawyer for any injuries or damaging side effects you may have suffered from a fluoroquinolone. Injuries associated with FLQs can be serious, especially those which involve an aortic issue.
Your attorney can review your case, determine what your options are under the laws in your jurisdiction, and represent you if a lawsuit is necessary. Your attorney can also assist you if you become a member of a class action lawsuit related to FLQs.
In many cases, settlements can be reached to compensate individuals for their injuries. Your attorney can assist you in negotiating to reach a settlement that compensates you for all of your suffering and injuries.