Products Liability – Medications case summaries


18-month-old baby boy bit into a closed metal tube of medicated cream containing 1% of Dibucaine, ingesting a small amount of the cream.   The baby immediately began to scream, went into convulsions, and seven hours later suffered a painful death. The baby's family sued the cream manufacturer for defective design and failure to warn


Woman enrolled in a weight loss program conducted by a Research Center. Under the watch of the Center, the woman was administered the drugs fenfluramine ("fen") and phentermine ("phen") also known as "fen/phen".   As a result of this weight loss program and the carelessness, negligence, and breaches of warranties by the Center and the

Antibiotics; Deafness

A baby girl aspirated meconium during labor and delivery. She was treated with kanamycin sulfate for twelve days.   This drug is known to be toxic. As a result the child suffered a profound and permanent hearing loss which was not detected, and therefore not treated until her third year.

Dietary Supplement

Plaintiff ingested L-tryptophan, an amino acid used as a non-prescription food supplement. Plaintiff contracted eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.   Plaintiff commenced suit against the pharmacy where she purchased the product, the manufacturer who marketed the tablets and the foreign cooperation which produced the raw materials used by the manufacturer of the product.[91]

Weight-Loss Drug

Plaintiff was rendered paralyzed from the waist down after ingesting two drugs prescribed by his physician for weight-loss.   The two drugs allegedly produced nerve lesions in plaintiff's spinal cord. Plaintiff charged defendant drug manufacturer with failure to provide adequate warnings of drug's inherent hazards to plaintiff's physician.[90]

Birth Control Pills; Warning

Plaintiff, an airline ticket agent, suffered a stroke while taking "sequential" birth control pills.   As a result, she had dysfunction and reduced control on the left side of her body. The plaintiff did not receive adequate warning of the potentially devastating side effects of the pill.[89]

Anti-Inflammatory Drug; Liver Damage

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug was given to a 32 year old man, with a history of liver dysfunction, as medication for bursitis.   Soon after, he developed a bleeding ulcer and in the course of his hospitalization received transfusions. As a result of being administered the drug he developed hepatitis. He is now completely bed-ridden

Antibiotics; Renal Failure

A 56-year-old woman developed an infection following surgery for an esophogal hernia and was treated with antibiotics which caused renal failure.   These drugs are known to be toxic to the kidney. The plaintiff is on dialysis three times a week and is awaiting a kidney transplant.

Steroid; Bone Deterioration

Plaintiff, a young man, was experiencing stomach trouble, which had been diagnosed as colitis. His doctor prescribed a steroid.   The plaintiff was not informed of the risks of such therapy. The plaintiff continued the medication for nine months and as a result suffered permanent and serious deterioration of the bones in his hip.

Rubella Vaccine; Guillain-Barré Disease

A 27-year-old woman, in contemplation of pregnancy, received a rubella vaccine since she had no immunity to rubella.   She was not informed of the risks of receiving the vaccine. Within a month of vaccination, she developed a recognized neuromuscular complication of vaccination--Guillan-Barre. The plaintiff was paralyzed and continues to experience profound motor function deficits.

Hypertension Drug; Liver Damage

The plaintiff, a man in his late 50s, began taking a particular brand of medication for hypertension.   Three months later he developed liver damage and drug hepatitis. The drug was removed from the market only eight months after its introduction as a controller of hypertension.

Anti-Nausea Drug; Deformed Baby

A child was born with no arms, one paddle leg and one stump leg as a result of the healthy mother-to-be having taken an antiemetic drug to control nausea during the early months of the pregnancy.

Diethylstilbestrol; Cancer

While the plaintiff's mother was pregnant with the plaintiff, the mother was given diethylstilbestrol by her physician to prevent miscarriage.   The mother took the drug throughout the pregnancy. During a routine pelvic examination of the plaintiff at age 16 it was discovered that she had cervical adenosis, a condition which has been linked in


Plaintiff's son purchased a liniment, which indicated it was to be used to relieve aches and pains, over the counter from a local drug store.   Plaintiff, who had twisted his ankle a few days previously, rubbed some of the liniment on his ankle. The liniment caused second degree burns and plaintiff, who was a

Birth Control Pills; Stroke

The plaintiff, a woman in her late 20s, had been taking birth control pills on and off for a few years.   One day she suffered a stroke and subsequently, at the hospital, suffered a second stroke. She was left partially paralyzed and with impaired intellectual capacity. Medical records attribute the stroke to a blood

Contraceptive Foam

After using a contraceptive foam advertised as 100% effective if used as directed, plaintiff became pregnant.   A question of damages arises due to the birth of the unplanned child (the child showed no adverse effects from the mother's use of the foam). The plaintiff claimed she used the product as directed, but said that


Plaintiff, a 12-year-old boy, alternately became convinced that he was Nicolo Machiavelli and that he was a tangerine.   In the course of one of his more Florentine moods, he was treated for relief of his hallucinatory symptoms and incipient psychosis by use of a tranquilizing drug. The drug has had adverse physical effects on


A young woman had taken a compound containing thalidomide during her pregnancy.   As a result of this, her child was born deformed, having no lower limbs, clubbed hands and impaired vision. The manufacturer of the compound is headquartered in Germany. Suit is brought on negligent chemical formulation and failure to perform adequate premarket testing.


The plaintiff is a registered nurse who, in 1962, contracted pneumonia. Her doctor, an internist, determined that the proper treatment was an antibiotic, marketed by a certain drug company.   The drug resulted in the plaintiff suffering a grave and usually fatal blood disorder known as aplastic anemia. The drug was promoted, among other methods,


Plaintiff is a young woman who suffered from recurring headaches. Originally on the advice of her physician and for a period of seven years thereafter on her own, plaintiff periodically took APC Tablets for her headaches.   This painkiller is marketed over the counter for sale to the general public. Plaintiff has lost both kidneys


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