When people are sick, doctors prescribe medications to help them feel better. These people trust that the medication will be of the highest quality. What happens when the medication that is flawed and leads to additional injuries or new illnesses? Is having a defective product enough to mount a successful products liability claim?

Litigants across nine states are bringing their product liability claims to court as a result of defective steroid injections. The New England Compounding Center (NECC) is the site where the steroid was produced. Thirty-seven people have died and over 500 people have gotten sick after receiving the injections from NECC. Those with claims are presenting their cases in federal court where the process of consolidation is beginning.

Consolidation allows similar cases to be combined and often times this serves as a catalyst for settlement. However, a favorable monetary recovery in court may not make these plaintiffs whole. It is questionable if NECC will have the assets or liability insurance to cover the judgments that may come out of these claims. Some plaintiff attorneys are seeking financial recovery from other parties to ensure their clients get the money they need to pay for continued medical treatment.

Products liability cases are inherently difficult but not impossible to win. Like the attorneys challenging NECC in court, experience litigating complex cases is needed to get justice for people who are injured from defective products. A variety of experts may be needed to testify and the right attorney can find the appropriate evidence to strengthen their case..

As a result of the steroid shot in this case, a Tennessee man now lives with fungal meningitis. Like the man in Tennessee, people who have been affected by defective products should consult with experienced legal counsel.

Source: The Times Picayune, “Dozens sue pharmacy in Meningitis outbreak lawsuits, but compensation uncertain,” December 13, 2012