PharmaTech Faces Massive Product Liability Lawsuits
The South Florida pharmaceutical company, PharmaTech, has been accused by the federal government of distributing contaminated drugs. They are also now the subject of seven product liability lawsuits including three wrongful death lawsuits. Those taking their medications claim that they were sickened or killed. The death toll included infants who were given the company’s stool softener.
PharmaTech closed its Davie, Florida plant after the FDA cited several health and safety shortcomings in its manufacturing process. It is believed that this lack of oversight resulted in patient deaths and injuries.
In 2016, PharmaTech voluntarily recalled its stool softener after the drug was reported to have caused several hospitalizations. After an investigation, the FDA found water-borne bacteria in the oral liquid formula of the medication. They traced the bacteria back to the water system used to make the product.
The deaths included an 8-month-old infant who was born with a congenital heart defect and administered the stool softener.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of an Infant
Florida laws concerning wrongful death are somewhat strange to those who have never filed one. Florida requires that lawsuits be filed on behalf of the victim’s estate. In addition, family members can file claims against the negligent party based on their relationship.
The estate can collect on such damages as funeral arrangements, medical expenses, and lost present and future income, while family members can collect damages on their emotional trauma, grief, and loss of companionship.
Nonetheless, the process is somewhat awkward when an infant is involved. The infant doesn’t have a job, career, or earning power. Often, the estate damages are limited merely to the cost of medical expenses and burial.
On the other hand, parents can collect damages on the loss of love and their emotional anguish.
At least some of the victims and their families are attempting to collect punitive damages from PharmaTech. Typically in a product liability lawsuit, punitive damages are awarded when the company had foreknowledge that their product was toxic or potentially dangerous and did nothing to stop it. It’s unclear when exactly PharmaTech became aware of the contamination of their own plant. When illnesses arising from their medications were reported, they did issue a recall. One famous instance of a corporation knowingly keeping a dangerous product on the market is the Takata airbag lawsuits. Takata has basically been buried in the aftermath of those lawsuits.
While it may be difficult for plaintiffs to prove willful misconduct, they may have a better chance of proving another aspect of gross negligence. Gross negligence also entails a conscious disregard for the need to use reasonable care. It is clear that PharmaTech’s safety standards and quality control had slipped to an exceedingly poor level. The results of that failure were deadly.
More likely than not, PharmaTech will be buried right next to Takata.
Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, give the Jacksonville legal team at Gillette Law a call at (912) 289-4205 or contact us online. We can help you recover damages for your injuries.