Lawsuit document

Can You Sue if Harmed by a Weight-Loss Drug

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Many weight loss pills make extraordinary claims about their effectiveness, but even if they work as well as promised, they might cause harm in the process. If you suffered an injury because of a medication or supplement advertised as a weight loss product, you might be wondering if you have any legal remedies.

Can you sue if harmed by a weight-loss drug? A California personal injury attorney can talk to you and explore whether you might be able to seek compensation for your loss.

Were You Harmed by the Medication Not Delivering on its Promise of Rapid Weight Loss?

Diet pills almost always contain disclaimers that they do not guarantee a certain amount of weight loss, and that results vary from one person to the next. In fact, they usually say that they must be combined with diet and exercise in order to promote weight loss. In reality, the diet and exercise likely cause any success the person might achieve, rather than the pills. 

A personal injury case requires harm to the individual, like organ damage or cardiac changes, as the result of someone else’s negligence. Buying a bottle of diet pills that does not cause you any physical harm but did not deliver the promised weight loss might be grounds for requesting your money back from the manufacturer, but it is not a personal injury lawsuit.

What You Have to Prove to Win a Lawsuit for Getting Harmed by a Weight-Loss Medication

Every few years, a story hits the news about thousands of people getting heart damage, liver damage, or some other physical harm because of a supplement or medication. Some types of drugs can cause the onset of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts or actions.

Nearly every type of medication can cause side effects in some people. The manufacturer is supposed to disclose the known side effects in the packaging so that purchasers can make an informed decision before buying the item. You should be able to evaluate the risks and benefits of a product before purchase.

The manufacturer might face liability for the harm a product causes when they made these mistakes:

  • Did not perform adequate pre-market testing of the product to determine what side effects it can cause.
  • Performed pre-market testing but did not disclose the side effects sufficiently.
  • Claimed that the product was safe to use when it was not.
  • Exaggerated the effectiveness of the product such that the consumer is willing to take the risk of side effects.
  • Was negligent in manufacturing the drug, resulting in dangerous side effects when taken by the consumer.
  • Failed to provide adequate information to the medical industry, including doctors, about the safety or efficacy of the product. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates drugs and medical devices, among other things, sold in the United States. They often ask drug manufacturers to issue a voluntary recall or change the labeling of their products when an item causes harmful side effects or is not as effective as the pharmaceutical company claims.

Many weight-loss products do not fall under the protection of the FDA because they are not prescription medications. Manufacturers are supposed to disclose known harmful side effects and be truthful in their claims about the benefits of a product, whether it is a prescription drug or an over-the-counter supplement, but there is very little oversight of the non-prescription product market.

Nonetheless, it is possible to sue a company that makes a weight loss product that causes harm to consumers when used as directed. If successful, you might be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, disability, ongoing impairment, and other losses. 

You will want to talk to a California personal injury attorney right away if you think that a weight loss product, prescription or over-the-counter, caused harm to you. Our state does not give you much time to file a lawsuit so you can seek compensation for your injuries. If you miss the deadline, the law will forever borrow you from seeking justice for your losses. Get in touch with our office today, we offer a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.