Corporations hold a great deal of power in the United States because of one simple fact: Money talks. A major corporation can cut a large check to a high-end organization and more often than not, that check has the ability to encourage action. We saw this in the 1970s and 80s with big tobacco companies. We see this every election season with each candidate’s influenced TV ads.
When corporation-influenced political events happen, we don’t generally hear about every detail until it’s too late. Major corporations are powerful because they wield a great deal of money, but also because they work with large legal departments that can sometimes change the course of what information is made public and under what circumstances.
Two areas where we see a great deal of corporative power in the U.S. are the pharmaceutical industry and the medical device manufacturing industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a say in what drugs and medical devices can be brought to market, but drug and device manufacturers have been known to stealthily find ways to skip certain FDA requirements or push through red tape quicker.
One recent example is a type of hernia mesh called Physiomesh. In 2010, Ethicon claimed that Physiomesh was like other types of hernia mesh already on the market. The FDA believed this claim and allowed Ethicon to place Physiomesh on the market without testing the mesh on humans. Since then, hernia surgery patients around the nation have had to undergo painful follow-up surgeries to have the patches removed. It turns out that Ethicon’s patches are not like other porous patches at all.
As a result, hernia patients who have suffered because of Phyiomesh mesh patches have started filing civil lawsuits against Ethicon. In response, the product was recalled. Now it’s up to Ethicon to create a safer type of hernia patch as well as respond to those lawsuits.
Civil Lawsuits Give Consumers a Voice
When individuals are hurt or suffer due to a drug or medical device that was pushed to market too quickly or not properly tested, that individual has a legal right to file what is called a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer who created the drug or device. Lawsuits are incredibly powerful since corporations—even massive ones—stand to lose a great deal of reputation and/or money if a large lawsuit like a mass tort is successful.
Most companies will do anything they can to avoid getting sued. This forces corporations who may be using unlawful tactics or failing to prioritize the safety of the American population to do what’s right. In the case of drug or medical device manufacturers, a lawsuit can force a company to properly test their products, create safer models, or redesign unsafe products to not harm others. Product liability lawsuits hold major corporations accountable for their actions as well as their products.
If you or someone you love was hurt, injured, or has suffered due to a drug or medical device that you believe was falsely advertised, improperly tested, or malfunctioned, legal recourse may be an option. If you’re in the state of Wisconsin, Urban & Taylor, S.C. can pair you with an experienced Milwaukee product liability lawyer who will be more than happy to tell you the merits of your potential case. Contact our law office to learn more.
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