No matter what the carping critics may claim about the shortcomings of the civil justice system, when Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and big organizations exploit and harm the vulnerable, lawsuits and what follows may provide a concrete, productive way for the wronged to see remedy and recompense for injuries inflicted on them.
Recent news articles provide more than a billion bits of evidence why, even in terse summaries of what has occurred in big, complex cases:
In my practice, I see not only the harms that patients suffer while seeking medical services, but also:
It is unacceptable that terrible situations were allowed to explode and drag on to the detriment of large groups of people — whether they were children sexually abused for decades in the Scouts, teens and youths commercially exploited for months by risky vaping products, and, of course, the horrors of the opioid crisis that still are insufficiently addressed.
Listen to doctors, hospitals, and big corporations and organizations — whether Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, or nationwide groups like the Scouts — and the complaints may flow about their annoyance with civil suits. But where are the politicians, regulators, and even prosecutors and law enforcement when conduct with grave consequences is occurring, it is widely public — and not enough is getting done to stop it?
With vaping and the opioid crisis, a fuller accounting is in order about the ineffectual oversight by the federal Food and Drug Administration and other U.S., state, and local regulators. Some officials deserve praise, but the record says too many parties slumbered when they should have been aggressive watchdogs.
Even now, questions are rising about FDA procedures to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and affordability of prescription drugs. Members of Congress and medical experts have frustrated and angry issues most recently with the accelerated approval granted to a costly drug targeted at Alzheimer’s patients — without persuasive evidence of its effectiveness and certainly not for its wide use and sky-high cost, which potentially will be a giant burden for taxpayers. News reports say that the drug’s maker had early and unusual support from a ranking FDA regulator for their product. Really? Why?
We have much work to do to safeguard all of us from harmful drugs and other products and to step up to ensure our kids are not sexually abused at school or in social activities that we consider such an important part of growing up well in this country.