Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney

Drug Companies, Product Liability, And You

When pharmaceutical companies rush a new drug to market and aggressively promote it by persuading consumers to request the drug from their doctors, many consumers are potentially put at risk. No one should be surprised that some pharmaceutical companies sometimes choose profit over consumer safety. When this happens, innocent people suffer needlessly. When we buy drugs prescribed by doctors or drugs that are sold over-the-counter, we assume those products are safe.

But the definition of “safe” – as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the word – only means that the benefits of a “safe” drug statistically outweigh the risks for intended users. When a new drug’s potential risks outweigh its benefits to consumers, the drug is considered dangerous or defective. The FDA tests and approves new drugs before they are made available to the public, but with the constant push to make new drugs available quickly, only short-term tests are conducted on most products. The long-term effects of any new drug are impossible to predict in advance.

Three kinds of drug-related product liability claims are common: claims based on defectively produced drugs; claims based on drugs with hazardous side effects; and claims based on improper marketing of drugs. To win a pharmaceutical product liability lawsuit, plaintiffs have to prove: that they were injured by using the drug as it was intended to be used; that the drug was defectively made or improperly marketed (improper marketing includes the failure to warn about risky side effects); and the defect or improper marketing was the direct cause of the personal injury. Typically, the defendant will attempt to prove that your injury had another cause. That’s one of several reasons you need the services of an experienced product liability attorney if you’ve been injured by using a pharmaceutical drug.

If you believe you have a pharmaceutical liability case, speak with a good product liability lawyer at once. You may recover damages for medical expenses and lost wages, and in some cases you may even be awarded punitive damages. If you have been victimized by the use of a pharmaceutical drug, I strongly recommend that you contact an experienced product liability attorney as quickly as possible.


Zithromax is a well-known antibiotic; for about two decades, it’s been produced by Pfizer, Inc., one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations. Also known as “Zmax,” the drug became popular in the 1990s as it treated infections in only 5 days; prior to Zithromax’s release, infection treatments typically took 9 or more days. Zithromax is an effective, short-term treatment, so patients began specifically requesting it from their physicians.

Recently, however, the effectiveness of Zithromax has decreased as particular strains of bacterial infection have built up resistance to it. Additionally, Zithromax has been over-prescribed; for example, while only 10 percent of sore throats require treatment with antibiotics, Zithromax has been prescribed to 60 percent of patients with sore throat symptoms.

The side-effects of Zithromax are both various and severe; side-effects include cardiac arrhythmia issues, Steven Johns Syndrome, liver failure, and pancreatitis. Cardiac arrhythmia problems linked to Zithromax can lead to an abnormal heart beat, including QT prolongation (slower heart rate). In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that Zithromax can lead to potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia problems. Steven Johns Syndrome, or SJS, is a rare but potentially fatal dermatological condition that can lead to scarring, eye damage, and sometimes death. In 2012, the FDA also issued a formal warning to Pfizer for failing to effectively warn patients of the risk of SJS after using Zithromax.

Still, Zithromax remains on the shelf. Apparently, the FDA believes the side-effect risks are outweighed by the benefit from Zithromax for treating bacterial infections. If you or someone you know is suffering from cardiac arrhythmia problems or Steven Johns Syndrome following the use of Zithromax, speak immediately to experienced personal injury attorney Joseph Dooley. You may be compensated for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

A good personal injury attorney will defend your rights and work in your interests if you’ve been injured by the use of any pharmaceutical product. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and work on your behalf; don’t hesitate to contact personal injury attorney Joseph Dooley at once. Your health is your highest priority.

Gardasil and Its Dangers

Cervical cancer is a real and serious threat to women everywhere. Gardasil, manufactured by Merck & Co., is a vaccine for the prevention of certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to the development of cervical cancer. Merck applied for and received approval for the marketing and distribution of Gardasil from the FDA in 2006, and it enjoyed immediate success, generating approximately $1.5 billion in annual revenue for Merck & Co.

Despite the success, it wasn’t long before reports of serious adverse effects began to emerge. In 18 cases, those reactions were fatal. Of those who died after a Gardasil vaccination, the youngest was a girl only 11 years old who suffered a sudden heart attack. If you have been injured or if you’ve suffered serious side effects from a Gardasil vaccination anywhere in the Chicago area, speak immediately with experienced Chicago product liability lawyer Joseph Dooley. Here are the most common adverse effects associated with the use of Gardasil:

  • Seizures
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Paralysis
  • Optic lesions
  • Death

More than 8,000 women have reported one or more of these symptoms after a Gardasil vaccination. Women of all ages are potentially at risk. In 2009, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that described 12,424 reports of adverse events following Gardasil vaccinations. Of those events, 772 were serious injuries.

Drug-related injuries can have a devastating impact on your life, your family, and your future, but drug companies like Merck have their own sharp attorneys to defend their products. If you’ve genuinely been injured, you may be able to win compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and related expenses, but you’re going to need your own talented legal help. Put an experienced lawyer on your side if you’ve been injured by Gardasil or by any other vaccination or prescription drug, and consult at once with experienced Chicago product liability lawyer Joseph Dooley.