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When a person is injured as a result of medical treatment, the first assumption, many a times is that the physician has made a mistake. On further analysis the real culprit turns out to be the equipment or device used to treat the injured person, for which the manufacturer is liable. Not all devices are error free and due to some fatal flaw in the design or manufacture they, at times cause devastating impact on the patients. The liability chain is long in such cases encompassing the entire supply chain till it reaches the ultimate customer. This places the manufacturer on the top rung, then the wholesaler, and the retail store owner at the lowest rung. In between there could be assembling manufacturers or agents as well. This area of the law encompasses three legal theories: strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.
The aggrieved consumer has to prove that the product was defective, the defect was there prior to the manufacturer releasing the product and it has caused him damages.
A drug manufacturer has a duty to warn of side effects of a drug when such effects are understood to occur, but is not expected to warn of unknown dangers. Usually, the manufacturer discharges this duty by providing the necessary information to the patient’s prescribing physician or to the pharmacist. The drug manufacturer is considered an expert in its field, and as such has a continuing duty to keep abreast of knowledge regarding its products and take all reasonable steps to update medical professionals on their potential adverse effects. There is no duty to warn of possible reactions in unusually susceptible consumers, however, but just because a reaction is rare does not mean the manufacturer has no duty to warn about it or that the persons experiencing the reaction are unusually susceptible.
A person bringing a timely action has right to claim damages for both economic and non-economic loss sustained. It shall include: medical expenses, pain and suffering etc. Wrongdoers are also penalized for their negligent behavior. Thus, a successful claim can compel suppliers and manufacturers to improve the quality of their materials, increase product safety features, and provide thorough cautions regarding a product’s potential dangers.