A defective product lawyer can help you when wrongdoing occurs
A defective product lawyer’s role is to help Canadians seek justice when flawed and faulty products cause serious injury or illness. You wouldn’t expect pharmaceutical and medical device companies to develop imperfect products. After all, their role is to address health issues, not make them worse. Unfortunately, companies like these have been responsible for negative and devastating health consequences in the past.
The sheer nature of the pharmaceutical industry also means that injuries aren’t limited to a handful of individuals either. Instead, the consequences of a defective medical drug or device are altogether far-reaching. In short, mass torts like these affect thousands upon thousands of individuals who use a particular product. When medical product liability occurs, a defective product lawyer can help hold the right companies accountable, reveal previously unknown dangers, and seek fair settlements for the individuals affected.
When defective drugs or devices are first released to the public, claims often vary depending on the circumstances of each injury. However, here are some of the common claims made against pharmaceutical companies in Canadian history.
The opioid crisis, OxyContin, and the role of product liability lawyers in Canada
Back in July 2017, CBC News reported that Canada lost an estimated 2,458 people to opioid-related death in 2016 alone . Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. They are mainly used for pain relief, including anesthesia. In the past, OxyContin was aggressively marketed as a ground-breaking painkiller in the United States. In 2007, three executives from Purdue Pharma (U.S.) pleaded guilty in a Federal Court for misleading regulators and the public about the addiction risk of OxyContin. The civil and criminal suits were settled for over US$600 million south of the border.
Later, in May 2017, Purdue Pharma (Canada) agreed to pay $20 million – plus $2 million to provincial health plans – regarding how they marketed and sold OxyContin and OxyNEO in Canada. A Nova Scotia judge approved a settlement for claimants in that province after Ontario did the same earlier in July 2017. At the time, Dr. Kieran Moore, a professor of emergency medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston said: “To me, $20 million doesn’t scratch the surface of the societal costs of OxyContin.”
More recently in October 2021, a class action lawsuit was filed against McKinsey & Company . It was alleged that the worldwide consulting firm had fuelled the opioid crisis in Canada. Part of the class was Northern Ontario resident Jordan Francis Charlie. A forestry worker, Charlie first took OxyContin in 2007 to alleviate pain stemming from a back injury. Shortly after taking the drug, Charlie developed a harmful addiction to opioids. His struggle was compounded by the fact he lost his job and custody of his child too.
Johnson & Johnson baby powder recalled in Canada
As of December 15, 2021, American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) currently faces over 37,000 cases relating to asbestos contamination of their talcum powder products. Back in late 2019, the company voluntarily recalled one lot of their baby powder. This was after a test from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that discovered trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination .
The following spring, J&J announced their Johnson’s Baby Powder would no longer be sold in both U.S. and Canadian stores. Attributing the recall to low sales and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic , rather than any health consequences, J&J continue to distance themselves from claims their products cause ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Most recently in January 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a 124-page document outlining a stricter standardization of toxic asbestos testing in talc-based cosmetic products . This should better protect both U.S. and Canadian citizens moving forward.
The opioid crisis continues: A new product liability lawsuit
Most recently in January 2022, CBC News reported that a Manitoba lawsuit is seeking more than $1.1 billion from drug companies for opioid crisis victims . This proposed class action includes 35 companies specializing in the manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sale of opioids.
The statement of claim asserts that the 35 drug manufacturers failed to warn both medical professionals and patients about the risks and dangers of opioid use, including overdoses, addiction, and death.
Canada is second only to the United States in being the world’s largest consumer of opioids. Between 2000 and 2010, opioid prescriptions shockingly increased by a huge 203% with the popularity of OxyContin reaching unprecedented levels. In the period of January 2016 to December 2020, Canada tragically experienced 21,174 opioid-related deaths and 24,671 overdose-related hospitalizations .
If you need a defective product lawyer by your side, turn to MG Law
Remember, MG Law’s experienced team of lawyers are capable of handling Ottawa product liability law. If you’ve been injured or fell ill due to medical product liability or a defective product, call 613-730-8460 to book a free consultation.
Our team of product liability lawyers continue to play a significant role in warning manufacturers to remove dangerous drugs and devices from the Canadian market. Raising awareness about defective products and urging regulators to act, it’s our mission to help traumatized medical product liability victims seek justice.