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Frequently Asked Questions About TDF Injuries and Legal Action

Do you have HIV, and do you suffer from bone demineralization or chronic kidney disease as a result of taking one or more of Gilead’s tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) drugs? If so, know that you’re not alone and that it is natural to have questions about your rights, how legal action works, and what types of compensation you could be owed.

The TDF injury lawyers of The Benton Law Firm have provided the following questions, and their answers to help, and our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to answer any of your specific questions when you call (800) 313-4878 to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation with us. Read more below and contact us by phone, contact form, or live chat for help.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured by a TDF Drug?

If you are experiencing persistent side effects you believe are related to a prescription drug or over-the-counter medicine, you should first seek medical attention. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and let them recommend the best course of treatment. Try to keep records of the doses you were taking when your symptoms began. Contact an attorney as soon as you can.

If a Side Effect Was Listed on the Drug’s Warning Label, Do I Still Have a Case?

Many people can still pursue legal claims against drug manufacturers despite warning labels regarding possible side effects.

Truvada states that the most common side effects include headache, abdominal pain, and weight loss, but serious side effects can include worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection, kidney problems (including kidney failure), excess lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), severe liver problems, and bone problems.

Atripla can cause side effects that include lactic acidosis and liver problems.

Complera has such side effects as lactic acidosis, severe skin reactions, and liver problems, along with new or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure.

Stribild’s listed side effects include worsening of Hepatitis B infection, kidney problems (including kidney failure), lactic acidosis, severe liver problems, bone problems, and changes in the immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome).

The issue in many TDF cases concerns whether the drug company was knowingly allowing people to face increased bone and kidney toxicity issues while a safer version existed.

How do Dangerous Drugs Reach the Market?

In January 2019, Kaiser Health News reported that pharmaceutical companies had recalled approximately 8,000 medicines since the start of 2013. During the same period, almost 300 products were recalled by drug-making facilities within a year of having passed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection.

The FDA states that “a drug recall is the most effective way to protect the public from a defective or potentially harmful product,” but notes that such a recall is a voluntary action taken by the company itself. Some drugs simply produce completely unexpected side effects despite rigorous testing, but there are also cases in which drug manufacturers ignore or downplay possible side effects to get FDA approval. FDA inspections are designed to prevent many issues, but companies often do what they must to pass these inspections, completely changing after inspectors have left. The FDA can recommend a recall when it receives reports about adverse health conditions caused by drugs, but they will usually conduct investigations before taking any action. 

How Long do I Have to File a TDF Case?

 The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against Gilead depends entirely on the state in which you reside. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.012 establishes that a Texas resident must commence a products liability action against a manufacturer or seller of a product within 15 years of the date of the sale of the product. You should not assume you can wait 15 years to take legal action. You must get a lawyer involved in your case as quickly as possible, so you can begin collecting the evidence you’ll need to prove your case in a court of law.

Do I Have a TDF Case If I Was Taking the Drug for an Off-Label Use? 

Individual physicians may prescribe TDF drugs for uses not included on the FDA-approved label, and such use is obviously not what most drug companies authorize their drugs to be used for. An off-label use case can be more difficult but is not necessarily impossible. The way the drug was marketed can be a major factor in your case, and it can still be possible to obtain compensation in some of these cases.

What Kinds of Compensation Can I Recover?

Defective drug cases can often be resolved through settlements. This is because insurance companies for drug makers would prefer avoiding the cost of taking a case to trial. There will always be some cases that prove impossible to settle, and in these instances, lawsuits are filed that ultimately bring both sides into the courtroom.

When a plaintiff can prove their case, they can be awarded many kinds of compensation, often some combination of economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages relate to the actual costs to a victim – such as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are far more subjective. They usually relate to harm that is emotional or psychological, with awards  given for pain and suffering, loss of a spouse, or emotional distress.

Texas also allows for the awarding of exemplary damages, more commonly known as punitive damages. Such damages can only be awarded when a plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence that the harm in their cases was caused by a defendant’s fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Punitive damages are quite rare, and they are awarded to punish defendants rather than to reward plaintiffs.

What Is A Mass Tort? 

Mass torts refer to cases in which one or a limited number of defendants face multiple claims from a large group of plaintiffs. The plaintiffs in mass tort cases retain control of their cases, meaning that each will have to prove their injury claim. Mass torts are more common in cases relating to defective medical devices, prescription drugs, product liability, and toxic contamination.

What is the Difference Between a Class Action Lawsuit and Multidistrict Litigation?

A class-action lawsuit is often filed by a person who acts as a lead plaintiff but represents a larger group of similarly affected individuals in a single legal action. Classes must be certified by a court before a class action lawsuit can proceed. People must opt-out of the class if they do not want to be bound by the resolution. An award in a class-action lawsuit is customarily split equally among all plaintiffs in the class.

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) will similarly involve a large group of plaintiffs, but these people will each have their lawsuits, with every case heard by a single judge in a selected venue. MDL lets each plaintiff recover separate awards.

A TDF injury case could be filed as either a class action or MDL. You should discuss your options with an experienced attorney who can help you make an informed choice about the best path to resolution.

Contact a TDF Injury Lawyer For Help

The Benton Law Firm fights for those who’ve been hurt due to dangerous and defective drugs, and we know that with these types of cases, only results matter. Let our team help you get the compensation you’re owed if you took one or more of Gilead’s TDF drugs and suffered severe side effects. We will seek the maximum compensation possible for you and together we can hold the drugmaker accountable for the harm they’ve caused you. Call us at (800) 313-4878, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form today.

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