Stevens Johnson Syndrome & Your Rights
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a potentially deadly skin disease that usually results from a drug reaction. Another form of the disease is called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and again this usually results from a drug-related reaction. Both forms of the disease can be deadly as well as very painful and distressing. In most cases, these disorders are caused by a reaction to a drug, and some of the drugs responsible for these life threatening diseases include: NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs), Allopurinol, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and sulfa antibiotics.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) can also be attributed to bacterial infections, and in some cases the cause is unknown. However, by and large the onset of these diseases is through drug reaction to medications such as those mentioned above. Where SJS and TEN stem from an unknown cause or from a bacterial infection there is little that can be done legally, as nobody is at fault (unless fault can be attributed to a particular products or treatment). However, where the onset of SJS or TEN is directly attributed to use of a particular drug the sufferer may be entitled to compensation.
There are a number of routes that can be taken when it comes to taking legal action against the manufacturers of the drugs responsible for SJS and TEN. For instance, you may be entitled to file an individual lawsuit, where you are the sole claimant and you file for compensation from the manufacturer of the responsible drug on an individual basis. On the other hand you may fare better filing as part of a class action lawsuit, where a number of people that have been similarly affected by the same drug and therefore file a claim together.
With a class action SJS lawsuit, a couple of people from the group that is claiming can file on behalf of everyone involved in the class action. A class action SJS lawsuit can increase your chances of success, as there is more strength to the case. It is also cheaper to file a lawsuit in this way, as there are a number of people involved in the claim. However, the settlement received in the case of a class action SJS lawsuit has to be split between all parties claiming as part of that suit, therefore the settlement figure for each individual will be lower than it would have been with an individual lawsuit.
On the other hand, an individual lawsuit can reap bigger rewards in terms of compensation, but there is a lower chance of success and it is more expensive to file an individual suit. However, if you have a very strong case, then an SJS lawyer will probably recommend an individual suit as there may be little chance of failure and you could get a hefty compensation payout at the end of it.
Whether you are the affected party or whether you are a relation of someone that has passed away from SJS due to drug use, you may be eligible to file a claim. By seeking assistance from an experienced SJS lawyer, you can quickly determine whether you have grounds to make a claim and hat your chances of success are. An experienced SJS lawyer can listen to the facts surrounding your case, and can make an informed decision with regards to best legal option for your circumstances. An experienced SJS lawyer can also draw on past experience to determine the likely success of your case, and will know any pitfall and loopholes to look out for in order to maximize the chances of success for you.