When you take a prescription drug, there are often numerous warnings and disclaimers that are included with the medication you are taking. Pharmaceutical drug manufacturers are often subject to labeling requirements and regulations that ensure consumers and their physicians are adequately warned about the potential risks of a medication. Thus, when a warning label fails to account for a risk that and it results in a patient injury, consumers often bring lawsuits against the company alleging a failure to warn and seeking compensation.
In a recent circuit court opinion, the court considered details surrounding warning labels on drugs. In the case at hand, the plaintiff was diagnosed with advanced-stage kidney disease after taking a drug manufactured by the defendant. According to the plaintiff, the defendant pharmaceutical manufacturing company should have more explicitly warned his doctor to regularly monitor his kidney function after prescribing the drug. If the drug’s warning label had been better, the plaintiff contended, then the physician would have monitored him differently after prescribing the drug, discovered the impact on his kidneys sooner, and prevented his injury. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant manufacturing company.
On appeal, the court considered whether summary judgment was proper in dismissing the plaintiff’s failure to warn claim. The plaintiff argued that the lower court erred in concluding that his doctor, as a matter of undisputed fact, would have pursued the same course of treatment no matter what the warning label stated. The circuit court agreed, holding that the lower court erred in granting summary judgment to the defendants.