Birth Control Injury

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Birth Control Injury

I am currently taking a pill called Jolessa for my painful periods. I never wanted to
take this pill, but my doctor made me.
Now, since taking the pill, I have a hard time breathing, a sharp pain in my
stomach and sharp pains in my knee that will not go away. It literally feels like I am
dying. Do I have a case to sue the company and the doctor? I am also thinking of
visiting the hospital today because I feel just that awful after swallowing today’s

Asked on May 30, 2017 under Personal Injury, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, unless you suffer some significant lasting harm, there is no point in suing anyone: malpractice and drug product liability lawsuits are very expensive, due to the medical and/or chemical testing, expert analysis, reports, and testimony, etc. which you need to bring such a case (e.g. you can't prove that a drug is defective without scientific evidence; you can't prove that you suffered medical malpractice without a doctor's opinion that you did; in both cases, the defect or malpractice must be scientifically connected to your symptoms or ailments; etc.). You have to pay for these experts and tests yourself--so unless you have significant injuries, you can spend more on the lawsuit than you will get back.
Along the same lines, right now, you don't have a case: you have pains, which *may* be connected to the pills, but unless there is medical evidence of that, you can't prove the pills are causing the pain; your reports of your symptoms are simply not enough.
Second, to win against the drug manufacturer, you'd have to prove the pill was defective and/or that the risks were not properly warned about. The law accepts that medicines have side effects and can cause harm in some patients--if you've even seen a pharmaceutical advertisement on TV, you've seen/heard all the risks and side effects they disclose. Only if there is something particularly unsafe about the medicine and/or the risks are not disclosed might the manufacturer be liable.
Third, a doctor is not liable simply because you had a bad outcome; the law accepts that the practice of medicine is not perfect. To establish malpractice, you'd have to show (again, with medical expert testimony) that the doctor was unreasonably careless in prescribing this pill.
In short, there are significant challenges to the case you propose, and until you have scientific evidence of your harm and linking it to the pill, there would be no case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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