Articles Posted in Pharmaceutical Drug Injury

In the late 1990s, the Texas Supreme Court indicated that the substance of an expert’s testimony must be considered, specifically the data the expert relies on to form his/her opinion. If the foundational data upon which the expert bases his opinion is unreliable, then the expert’s opinion will be considered unreliable.

Very often, in Texas pharmaceutical injuries or Texas wrongful death cases from exposures to lethal substances, the Court looks at epidemiological studies of the substance’s effect on a population. The study must demonstrate that the risk of disease or injury for the population of people exposed to the substance is twice the risk of the population contracting the same disease who have not been exposed to the substance.

To illustrate, if a disease naturally occurs in 6 out of 1000 people when they are not exposed to a certain drug or substance, then a study would have to show that more than 12 out of 1000 exposed to the drug or substance would suffer the disease. Another option is that the epidemiological study must show significant results at a 95% confidence level.

There are certain non-economic damage elements that a San Antonio Texas personal injury lawyer can obtain for you in varied cases including wrongful death, medical malpractice, and Texas trucking accidents.

For seriously injured Texas citizens, they may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering in San Antonio Texas auto accident lawsuits . In a wrongful death action, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased can recover mental anguish damages. Mental anguish damages are those damages that include a mental feeling of pain, such as those that emanate from grief, disappointment, shame, despair, and public humiliation.

In order to recover for mental anguish, a San Antonio personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that the plaintiff suffered a high degree of mental pain and distress that goes above normal worry, anxiety or embarrassment. Texas personal injury law does not require a showing of physical injury to recover mental anguish damages. There is no way to objectively measure mental anguish damages, and the jury has a great deal of discretion in the process. The plaintiff needs to prove to the jury the nature of the mental anguish, its duration, and its severity. The plaintiff must demonstrate a significant disruption in his daily routine as a result.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (CPRC) 82.008 creates a rebuttable presumption of no liability in certain Texas product liability personal injury cases. However, section 82.008(d) makes exceptions for certain manufacturing flaws o defects from the rebuttable presumption.

If the seller has properly demonstrated the presumption, then it is up to the Texas personal injury lawyer to demonstrate that the standard / regulation was not strong enough to safeguard the public from unreasonable risk of injury or damage. The other option is to prove that the manufacturer, either before or after he commenced marketing the product, kept information or misrepresented information to the federal government. Such withholding or misrepresentation of information would have altered the federal government’s creation of a proper safety standard.

In almost every Texas products liability case, the defense attorney premises his defense on his client’s compliance with government standards. Counsel will claim that ultimately the government gave the seller a de facto seal of approval. In response, the Texas personal injury lawyer will counter that the federal government’s standard has always been a minimum floor and is often outdated and incapable of creating safety.

In a Texas pharmaceutical injury or medical device lawsuit, where the lawsuit centers on a failure to warn, TX Civil Practice and Remedies Code (CPRC) creates a presumption of no liability if the warnings associated with the product were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) .

There are several ways a Texas medical device injury lawyer can overcome the presumption of no liability, First, he can show that the manufacturer deceived the FDA by omitting or distorting required information needed for pre-market government endorsement and licensing. Any deception in the withholding or distortion of information must be material to the Texas serious personal injury claim and the element of causation is present.

Another way to overcome the presumption of no liability is to demonstrate continued sale of the drug or medical device after the FDA mandated market removal or no longer endorsed the product.

A growing number of vaccinations including the influenza vaccine and now the newly minted Gardasil vaccine against the cervical cancer Human Papilloma Virus are increasingly suspected of causing the Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).

GBS is a disorder of the neurological system characterized by uncontrollable muscle twitching, fatigue, and symptoms reminiscent of a recent stroke. Recovery does occur but in some case people may continue to have strong debilitating effects over a lifetime. Pulmonary complications and debilitating fatigue are the most common residual after effects.

Gardasil specifically is creating a special set of side effects that mirror the symptoms of GBS, including numbness and tingling, hair loss, extreme fatigue and weakness, and encephalopathy (seizures). Over 16 million does of Gardasil have been distributed to combat cervical cancer, but there continue to be questions about the side effects.

More often than not, a Texas personal injury attorney will need to employ an expert in a complex personal injury case, especially those involving complex auto accidents or product liability cases. The United States Supreme Court has decided several landmark decisions that define acceptable experts and their testimony. Those cases include Daubert v. Merrel Dow Pharmaceuticals and Kumho Tire Inc. v. Carmichael . However, the plaintiffs’ bar is discovering that more experts are being disqualified at an alarming rate.

Many times, once the plaintiff’s expert has been disqualified, the defendants will win on summary judgment, because the plaintiff can no longer prove causation. Texas has tightened standards in some cases. For example, some Texas courts have taken the position that a substance alleged to be cancerous, such as benzene, must have evidence indicating a 100% increase in the cancer rate over the general population. In other cases, judges have been known to exclude animal studies of product exposure as being unreliable despite the fact that animal studies are routinely used in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) risk assessments.

In the past, courts often looked favorably on the local certified engineer or registered professor to testify on behalf of the injured plaintiff. That is no longer the case. These days, especially in the area of products liability and testimony regarding a defective product, the only acceptable expert will be one who was involved in the design of a similar product.

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