Do I have a health care class action for a pharmaceutical drug or medical device?

The class action device is often utilized in pharmaceutical drug and medical device litigation. Class actions have been brought against the manufacturers of medical devices such as hip replacements; contraceptive intrauterine devices (IUDs); penile implants; heart valves; silicone breast implants, etc.

Many more class actions have been filed by classes of persons alleging injuries from prescription drugs, such as the Fen Phen diet drugs; Rezulin; and Paxil, among others. In addition, class actions have also been filed against the manufacturers of certain non-prescription drugs.

You may have such a claim if you have suffered an injury from a particular drug or device. You may also have an emotional distress claim over fear of future injury, and a claim for medical monitoring for future injuries.

An example of a pharmaceutical class action: Paxil Litigation
A class action filed in 2001 against Glaxosmithkline, a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, is representative of a prescription drug class action complaint. The Glaxosmithkline Complaint alleged causes of action for:

  1. fraud and deceit;
  2. negligence;
  3. strict liability;
  4. breach of express warranty; and
  5. breach of implied warranty.

There were approximately 35 named plaintiffs who sued Glaxosmithkline “on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated.”

The class action was brought in California State court based on the defendant’s activities in the State of California. The class was defined as “all former or present Paxil patients who, after December 29, 1992, suffered or continue to suffer from withdrawal reactions following reduction or termination of their Paxil dosage.”

In order to satisfy the numerosity requirement for class certification, the class attorney stated that, in addition to the named plaintiffs, over 1000 persons had registered drug withdrawal complaints to Glaxosmithkline on the internet, providing their contact information and detailed commentary, and at least 500 individuals contacted the class attorneys with similar allegations.

Damages sought include compensatory money damages; punitive damages; injunctive relief; and attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

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