Defective EpiPen Claim
Individuals who are experiencing a severe allergic reaction—including anaphylaxis—often rely on the use of an EpiPen to save their lives. Unfortunately, several defects reported with these devices can result in someone not receiving the medication they need when they need it.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a defective EpiPen, an experienced defective product lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can seek compensation for you. We have successfully pursued EpiPen claims, including a $4.5 million negotiated settlement for a client injured due to an EpiPen defect. Do not wait, contact us online or call (212) 445-7000 today to discuss your potential Epipen claim.
What Are the Epipen Defects That Can Cause Injury?
Adamis Pharmaceutical Corporation, the maker of the epinephrine auto-injector sold under the brand name SYMJEPI, recently announced that it was voluntarily recalling certain lots of the product. This decision came after reports of a potential defect that can make it difficult to dispense the product due to a syringe that is prone to clogging. However, this recent issue is far from the first for manufacturers of EpiPen and related generics.
Since 1993, the FDA received reports of thousands of adverse events regarding EpiPens, including defects that cause the medication to leak out of the pen before use, and pens that failed to activate at all. Our product liability lawyers also discuss how EpiPens fail and what happens.
What Types of Injuries Can Result From Defective EpiPens?
Severe allergic reactions can lead to potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is the result of the immune system overreacting to an allergen.
Anaphylactic shock occurs when this overreaction results in the body’s airways becoming so swollen that the individual cannot breathe properly. Their blood pressure drops, preventing the heart from receiving the oxygen necessary to continue functioning. This can result in complications such as brain damage, kidney failure, an irregular heartbeat, heart attack, or even death.
For those who survive the injury, there is a higher risk of acquiring permanent disabilities that can prevent the sufferer from earning an income or living independently and can also result in the need for frequent medical treatment to address complications of the condition.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injury or Loss
Manufacturers of medications and medical devices have the legal responsibility to ensure that the products they provide for consumers are reasonably safe when used according to labeled instructions.
Three types of defects can make a manufacturer liable for injuries caused by their products:
- Design defects, which occur during the planning and engineering. All products produced using that particular design will present the same defect.
- Manufacturing defects, which occur due to a mishap or irregularity in the manufacturing process. Manufacturing defects generally appear in specific lots made at the same time.
- Packaging defects, which generally involve the information on the product’s label. Common labeling defects can include a failure to provide adequate instructions for using the product, or a failure to list the known risks associated with the product.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one due to a defective EpiPen, you can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury or loss through either a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim. Generally, product liability claims are strict liability, meaning that the claimant only has to prove that the defective product caused their injury, regardless of the manufacturer’s intent when producing the product.
A product liability case generally begins with a claim against the manufacturer’s liability insurance policy. Upon receiving the claim, the insurance provider can choose to pay the claim, deny the claim (and provide a reason to the claimant for the denial), or offer an out-of-court settlement for less than the established value of the claim.
If a settlement comes, the claimant’s attorney can negotiate with the insurer to convince them to increase their offer. Suppose the insurer fails to compensate the claim fairly. Then, the case can go to civil court as a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in the state where the injury occurred (within the statute of limitations). Failure to observe this statutory timeline for filing the claim can result in losing the claimant’s right to use the court process to seek compensation for their injury.
How Product Liability Claims are Different
While the personal injury and wrongful death claims processes can be similar to a product liability case, it is quite different due to the larger-scale context. The product defect that resulted in your injury or the death of a loved one likely affected an entire group of individuals.
If this happens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the federal agency tasked with ensuring the safety of several products in the U.S., including medications and medical devices—will often begin an investigation. The manufacturer can voluntarily recall the product, or the FDA can issue a mandatory recall. Additionally, those harmed by the defect can seek compensation through the tort claim process.
Because product defects can harm hundreds or even thousands of individuals, the claims are often combined into a single class-action case or temporarily combined through multi-district litigation for the early phases of the legal proceedings. This helps relieve the burden of the court and provides claimants the opportunity to share evidence and testimony needed to prove their claim.
The Type of Compensation You Can Receive for Your Claim
If you were injured or have lost an immediate family member because of a defective EpiPen, you can seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Here is a look at some of the common damages sought in each type of claim.
Those injured can seek economic damages for out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- Medical costs associated with the treatment of the injury resulting from the EpiPen malfunction.
- Missed wages if the injury suffered resulted in lost time from work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the injury suffered from the defect results in permanent disabilities that will prevent the injured person from making the same income as before the damage occurred.
Claimants can also seek non-economic damages for the effects the injury has had—and will likely continue to have—on their ability to live a normal life. These impacts can include physical pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
Family members of an individual who died due to their EpiPen’s defect preventing them from getting the life-saving medication they need can also seek compensation.
The type of expenses that the decedent’s loved ones can seek compensation for include:
- Medical expenses associated with the treatment of the decedent’s final injury.
- The cost of a funeral service and burial or cremation.
- The loss of financial support that the decedent provided for their family.
- The cost of household services that the decedent performed.
- The loss of wages, benefits, and other income that the decedent would have earned through the remainder of their career if they had survived.
The non-economic damages that you can seek through an EpiPen wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of love, support, comfort, and society that the decedent provided to their spouse.
- Loss of love, guidance, care, and instruction provided by the decedent for their children.
- Emotional distress and mental suffering.
Who Is Liable for Injuries and Deaths Resulting from EpiPens?
For years, the manufacturers of EpiPens and generic epinephrine auto-injectors have focused on making profits, even at the cost of quality and—ultimately—of lives.
For example, recently, Viatris Inc., formerly known as Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen brand, was ordered to pay $264 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company engaged in a scheme to delay generic competition from reaching the hands of consumers. Additionally, the company increased the price of two EpiPens from slightly over $100 to more than $600 in a few years.
Unfortunately, when the emphasis of a manufacturer who produces such an important medication for so many people fails to remain in providing a quality product, you can hold the manufacturer accountable through legal action.
To obtain compensation for an injury that resulted from a defective EpiPen, the claimant must show:
- The consumer used the product as directed.
- The product was defective.
- A loss or injury occurred.
- The product defect was the cause of the loss or injury.
How a Lawyer Can Help You With Your EpiPen Claim
Strict liability claims do not require a claimant to prove that the manufacturer was negligent but only that the product was defective. However, don’t let that simple explanation fool you: Product liability claims are usually incredibly complex.
A personal injury attorney with experience in this type of claim can provide crucial knowledge and understanding to help their client navigate the claims process, offering services such as:
- A free case evaluation so that prospective clients can learn more about the process and obtain answers to their legal questions.
- A determination of liability and associated insurance resources that can provide compensation to the claimant. The attorney will also determine if there is an ongoing class action or other mass litigation regarding the product.
- A valuation for the claim, which is based on the severity of the injury, its expenses and impacts, and how the injury will affect the rest of the person’s life.
- Settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurer.
- The timely filing of a personal injury or wrongful death products liability claim in court.
- The gathering of evidence and testimony to prove the claim, including the proper use of the product by the claimant, the defect, and the resulting injury.
- Litigation services.
- Collecting any negotiated settlements or court awards.
- Continued representation if the defendant appeals a court decision.
- A convenient contingent-fee billing method that allows you to wait to pay for your legal services until there is a positive outcome to your claim.
We Can Help You
The experienced Personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers LLP is not afraid to take on big claims against high-powered manufacturers such as the makers of EpiPen and generic epinephrine auto-injectors. Founded 50 years ago to make top-quality legal representation available for everyone, we now provide services to victims of negligence or product defects in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
As one of the country’s largest personal injury law firms, we are also among the first to offer legal documents written in plain English and provide our clients with a Bill of Rights.
Let our experienced defective EpiPen lawyer evaluate your claim for free and help you understand the process of seeking compensation for your injury. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or call (212) 445-7000.