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Medical Malpractice Claims in California Over Prescription Drugs

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Recent data would suggest that prescription drug-related deaths are on the rise. These types of deaths seem to outnumber those caused by car accidents, suicides and guns. The scary statistics have many wondering who is truly responsible. A case is being made in California against pharmaceutical companies for their push of these dangerous drugs, but medical malpractice claims may also be made against some of the doctors who are prescribing these medicines.

According to the most recent statistics, the U.S. contains only 5 percent of the global population, but is actively engaged in using approximately 75 percent of globally circulated prescription drugs. Addiction to painkillers is a massive problem across the country and leads to thousands of deaths each year. This problem doesn't affect just one particular age group, but spans from the young to the elderly.

Many pain medications are known to be highly addictive and, as patients develop a resistance to the drugs, they may begin to increase their dosages in order to continue feeling the desired effects. While the push to prescribe these medications may ultimately come from the drug manufacturers, doctors still have the responsibility to closely monitor patients taking these drugs and watch for signs of addiction. Unfortunately, some patients fall through the cracks and the seriousness of their prescription drug use may go unnoticed until it is too late.

Those who have lost a loved one from the effects of prescription drug use may be entitled to pursue civil actions against the prescribing physician and/or the drug manufacturer. Specifically, a medical malpractice claim may be made against the physician on behalf of the deceased patient. Either through settlement or a jury trial in a California court, the victim's family may be granted financial compensation for their loss.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Prescriptions Drugs More Deadly Than Car Accidents, Guns, and Suicide", Charlotte Lyton, May 25, 2014