The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning indicating that benzocaine, an anesthetic commonly used in over-the-counter teething gels for infants as well as liquid medications, can cause serious injuries and even death. Commonly found in products like Anbesol or Baby Orajel, the local anesthetic has in some cases led to a serious condition known as methemoglobinemia. This condition reduces the quantity of oxygen that travels through the patient’s bloodstream. Parents who have products containing benzocaine are promptly advised to stop using them on children younger than two and should seek a consultation with a health care official immediately.
In many instances, parents and other consumers presume that products marketed as homeopathic remedies are safe and pose fewer risks than pharmaceuticals and similarly derived products. A maker of such products, Hyland’s, which offers a benzocaine teething product, announced that it has discontinued making such products. According to a statement, the company stopped manufacturing the products due to the FDA’s warning. Major international drug store Walgreen’s has also discontinued its offering of products containing benzocaine.
The FDA has continued its investigation into whether or not these and similar products pose fatal risks to infants. If your child has suffered injuries, and you believe it is a result of administering these teething products, you can bring a personal injury claim and a product liability claim to seek compensation. A product liability claim does not require the plaintiff to prove fault on the part of the defendant. Instead, the plaintiff must show that the design of the product in question is unreasonably dangerous. State courts have adopted many different tests for determining unreasonable danger. While some consider whether the product is more dangerous than a reasonable consumer would expect, others employ a balancing test that weighs the risks of the product against its utility. Since medicines and medical issues are so complicated, it is almost always necessary to hire an expert witness to evaluate your claim, gather evidence, and offer testimony about the risks of the drug.
In a negligence action, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty and breached that duty by failing to use reasonable care in the manufacture, marketing, and design of the drug. This includes failing to provide appropriate warnings, failing to disclose information to the FDA or another regulating authority, and concealing information about adverse events reported in relation to the drug.
At Moll Law Group, our dedicated team of product liability lawyers has handled many cases involving dangerous drugs and medical devices. We offer a free consultation to victims across the country, including in Illinois, New York, California, and Florida. We will provide you and your family with the compassionate and zealous representation that you deserve. Call us now at 312-362-1700 or contact us online.