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The Disbursement Process of a Settlement Award in Class-Action Drug Litigation

The Disbursement Process of a Settlement Award in Class-Action Drug Litigation

If you've taken a defective drug, you may be entitled to compensation—also known as "damages"—for any side effects or health issues suffered as a result of the drug.

Defective Drug Class Actions Are Common

When many similar lawsuits are filed against one or several companies, the lawsuits will often be grouped together into what's known as a "class action" or "mass tort" lawsuit. Suppose you're one of thousands of people who suffered serious health problems as a result of the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa. It would be expensive and time-consuming for each of you to file a separate lawsuit against the drug manufacturer.

By combining the existing and potential lawsuits into a class action, all of the anticipated claims can be resolved at once. You can, however, opt out of the class and continue to pursue independent legal action if you think it's to your financial benefit.

The Class Action Claims Process

During a class action, the drug manufacturer and the attorneys representing victims will make every effort to identify people who took the defective drug and might be entitled to money. They'll place ads in newspapers, magazines and on television, while also scouring company mailing lists in an effort to find potential victims. You may get a letter from the company or see an ad encouraging you to visit a website or call a toll-free number to begin the claims process.

No two class actions are alike, but to begin your claim, you'll typically be asked to provide some information to confirm you're entitled to money. The company processing the claims may ask for:

  • Contact information
  • Proof that you were prescribed a particular drug
  • You to attest that you suffered particular side effects

Once your claim is submitted, you may have to wait months, or even years, for the claim to be processed. That's because claims are often collected before the legal wrangling is even finished. Once all claims are submitted and your claim is validated, you will receive a settlement check from the drug manufacturer.

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