Could Suing Over Bad Pot Be The Next Big Thing?
June 25, 2014
As more and more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, could lawsuits over the product’s effectiveness and safety be soon to follow? According to a recent article in Law360, the drug is “among the fastest-growing markets in the U.S., with a projected $10.2 billion market by 2018.”
The question that is likely to arise is “whether manufacturers and distributors have a legal obligation to give consumers warnings and, if so, the specificity of the warnings.” In other words, should users be warned if the product: is potentially addictive; has the potential to affect mental or physical health; or if it has the potential to impact one’s ability to operate machinery or drive a car?
Further, what happens if makers of “medical marijuana” make claims about its benefits? Will they be subject to lawsuits if the product doesn’t work as promised?
- Claims based on defectively manufactured pharmaceutical drugs
- Pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects
- And improperly marketed pharmaceutical drugs
But the lawsuits surrounding marijuana are still fairly unchartered territory.
And as long as marijuana is prohibited by federal law, it’s anybody’s guess as to how product liability cases could shake out. But if marijuana, particularly if it’s sold and marketed for medical use, gets the same treatment as other non-FDA-approved supplements and products, the industry could expect a higher level of regulation soon, in what has until now been a largely unregulated industry.
No matter what happens, Michigan users of marijuana may not have any luck in pursuing product liability cases if they are injured by a cannabis product.
Michigan is unique in that it is the only state which for decades barred patients from suing if they’re injured by taking FDA-approved drugs, (though this may be changing, in light of a recent federal court case). But these products aren’t FDA-approved. Therefore, it is doubtful that Michigan’s drug immunity laws would apply.
The Sam Bernstein Law firm can help you determine the best course of action for you if you have been injured by taking a pharmaceutical product or medical device (e.g. hip implants). Don’t delay – call (888) CALL-SAM to discuss your circumstances.