Understanding the Truvada Product Liability Lawsuits

Truvada has been used for years to treat HIV and to prevent it in individuals with a particularly high risk of contracting the virus. Unfortunately, the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, Inc., chose profits over public safety and withheld a drug that did not have the potentially dangerous side effects of Truvada. 

Now, the company is facing serious liability for its actions through lawsuits filed by former users of Truvada who have developed serious health conditions. Sadly, some users have even passed away because of Truvada, according to many of the lawsuits. 

Truvada’s Dangerous History 

Truvada is a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment. PrEP is the use of medicines to help prevent someone from contracting HIV. According to tests and trials, PrEP is approximately 99% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV through sex and around 74% effective against the condition’s transmission through injection drug use. 

With efficacy rates so high, it is no wonder that Truvada has become a widely used medication for the prevention of HIV. And just like any other medication, Truvada has a variety of side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Sleeping problems
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Diarrhea

In most cases, these and other common side effects of Truvada are mild and last only days or weeks. However, more dangerous side effects have come to light since the drug’s introduction to consumers, most notably bone loss and kidney issues. 

Failure to Warn

All companies that make products for consumers, including medicines, must warn consumers of potential dangers and side effects caused by said products. 

Gilead Sciences did warn users of the potential side effects of Truvada. However, the company did not completely fulfill its duty to warn. The lawsuits against the company allege that Gilead Sciences actively misrepresented the more dangerous risks posed by Truvada and failed to make them known to consumers. 

Specifically, the lawsuits allege that Gilead Sciences not only knew of the danger posed by tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), the active ingredient in Truvada, but it also withheld the release of a safer alternative known as tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). 

According to the lawsuits, the company took these actions in order to fully reap the profits from the more dangerous TDF before taking it out of circulation. 

These actions by Gilead Sciences are direct violations of the company’s duty of care that it owes to consumers, a duty that requires all companies to diligently maintain high safety standards. However, Gilead Sciences seems to have chosen profits over safety, resulting in the death of or significant harm to many consumers who trusted the company. 

Other Dangerous TDF Drugs from Gilead Sciences

Truvada is not the only drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences that contains TDF. Several other dangerous products have been released to the market and caused consumers serious harm, including:

  • Stribild
  • Viread
  • Complera

Lawsuits based on these drugs and other drugs containing TDF have also been filed against Gilead Sciences.

Harms Caused by Truvada and Other TDF Drugs from Gilead Sciences

The injuries that consumers have suffered due to TDF drugs like Truvada have resulted in lifelong illnesses and even death. Had Gilead Sciences warned of these possible outcomes, many would not have fallen sick or died.

Some of the more common serious conditions individuals have developed include:

  • Chronic and acute kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia

Other injuries associated with Truvada and other TDF drugs include liver damage, lactic acidosis, and the exacerbation of hepatitis B. Sadly, death also occurs for some of Truvada’s victims. 

Eligibility to File a Truvada Lawsuit

Any person who has taken Truvada and developed serious health conditions as a result may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences. The loved ones of Truvada victims who have passed away may also be eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits against the company. 

The most effective method of determining whether you have a valid claim is through a case evaluation with an attorney who has experience representing clients in similar types of injury cases. 

Since most attorneys in this field of law offer complimentary consultations and case reviews, anyone who suspects they are a Truvada victim can find out about their eligibility without paying attorneys fees.  

Evidence Needed to File a Truvada Lawsuit

All victims of Truvada and other drugs containing TDF must have strong evidence to back up their claims. 

Generally speaking, the evidence must demonstrate that you took Truvada as intended and that you suffered harm. Pieces of evidence that will help your claim include:

  • Prescriptions for the drug
  • Empty prescription bottles
  • Medical account bills and statements
  • Pharmacy receipts for the medication
  • Medical treatment records related to injuries caused by the drug
  • Records and receipts of counseling you may have received for your injuries
  • Receipts for home care expenses
  • Receipts for medical equipment and home or vehicle modifications
  • Paystubs to demonstrate lost economic opportunities
  • Diaries or journals demonstrating pain levels and loss of enjoyment of life

When you meet with an attorney, it will be extremely helpful to bring as many of these pieces of evidence with you as possible. The more information you have regarding your case, the more thorough a claim evaluation an attorney can give you.

How Much Compensation Is Available for Victims?

Various forms of compensation are available for those who have suffered losses due to Truvada. They are generally categorized as compensation for economic losses or compensation for non-economic losses. 

Economic Compensation

Compensation for economic losses due to Truvada might cover a variety of financial losses caused by the drug, including:

  • Medical costs and expenses for care and treatment
  • Lost wages and economic opportunities from the inability to work
  • Expenses and costs related to home health and domestic care
  • Costs related to medical devices and equipment
  • Modifications made to home and vehicles to accommodate impairments
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Other miscellaneous expenses directly related to Truvada injuries may also be sought in a lawsuit.

Non-Economic Compensation

In addition to compensation for economic losses, compensation for non-economic losses may also be available. 

Common types of non-economic damages that victims of dangerous drugs or products might be awarded include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of ability to enjoy life
  • Loss of consortium

These types of losses do not have built-in monetary values but are assigned them during the negotiation process. For this reason, it is important for victims to seek representation from attorneys with proven track records of getting their clients maximum compensation for their losses. 

Punitive Damages

In particularly egregious cases, punitive damages are awarded on top of the compensation a victim receives for their economic and non-economic losses. Punitive damages are essentially penalties levied by judges or juries against defendants who are grossly negligent or act in an intentionally harmful or fraudulent manner. 

In the case of Truvada, a willful or grossly negligent failure to warn of the dangerous risks posed by the drug can likely support a claim for punitive damages. In fact, many of the lawsuits already filed against Gilead Sciences for losses caused by Truvada contain demands for punitive damages.

Because each victim’s case is unique, how much a victim or their loved one ultimately receives can vary sharply from case to case. Additionally, the experience and skill of the lawyers involved factor heavily in the final compensation a victim receives.

Timing Considerations for Truvada Lawsuits

Anyone considering filing a Truvada lawsuit must be aware of the timing considerations that affect most lawsuits. Without an awareness and understanding of these considerations, a victim with a valid case could lose out on valuable compensation. 

Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are time limits for legal action. They exist to prevent cases from being filed so long after the fact that there is no reasonable manner for justice to be served because of evidentiary and other concerns.

Regarding personal injury cases, including Truvada lawsuits, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. In many states, it is between two and three years. However, some states have shorter time limits of one year, while others have longer limits of four and six years. 

It is important to note that once a statute of limitations has passed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to prevent a case from being dismissed. However, some states have a discovery rule, which holds that the statute of limitations does not begin running until the victim discovers or should have discovered an injury.

For instance, suppose that a person takes a certain medication for one year. They find out that the drug has caused permanent kidney damage a few years after ceasing to take it. In that case, the statute of limitations would not begin running until they discovered the injury.

Evidentiary Considerations

Even if a victim is within the statute of limitations for their state, evidentiary concerns make it wise to take quick legal action — and never to wait. Evidence tends to present problems over time; it can go missing, become difficult to obtain, or even get destroyed. 

Sadly, without access to the proper evidence, a claim for compensation will suffer significant setbacks, including potential dismissal. But swift legal action can help prevent this outcome from occurring. Once you have an attorney working for you, they will act with haste to collect and preserve the evidence your case needs to be successful. 

How Do Attorneys Help Injury Victims Get Justice?

Attorneys in dangerous product cases aim to recover as much compensation for their clients as possible. They act as advocates for their clients’ losses and fight hard to get every loss compensated. 

For this reason, victims in personal injury cases who do not have attorneys representing them get far less compensation, on average, than those who do. They also get the assurance that what can be done is indeed being done.

Case Management and Compliance

With a competent law firm representing you, you never have to worry about the progress of your case. 

The law firm will handle every stage of the claim or lawsuit, making sure that all of the procedural and substantive rules are complied with and that your case remains valid until it is resolved. This means you have more time to focus on your personal life and livelihood. 

Effective and Efficient Representation

Victims of dangerous drugs need attorneys who will represent them effectively and efficiently. They can rely on their lawyers to take actions that result in timely resolutions of their cases whenever possible. 

Yes, delays are common in legal actions. However, a seasoned attorney knows the steps to take to avoid unnecessary delays and keep the case moving along.

Additionally, a skilled advocate will always fight for maximum compensation for their client during settlement negotiations. They will refuse any lowball offers that do not do their client’s losses justice. And if a trial is necessary, they will diligently represent them before a judge and jury — and in an appeal, if it comes to that.

Building a Strong Case for Damages

Attorneys work diligently to build the strongest cases they can for their clients. Their efforts include:

  • Conducting thorough investigations
  • Hiring and consulting with experts 
  • Conducting effective depositions

A good attorney leaves no stone unturned that might bolster their clients’ cases.

Contingency Fee Billing 

Lawsuits and injury claims require much work and are costly. However, victims in these actions are typically offered contingency fee billing, which means they pay no money up front and pay nothing if their attorneys are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for them. 

With this type of billing, victims do not have to worry about coming up with the money needed to fuel their lawsuits and injury claims. Instead, they can preserve their money while their attorneys prosecute the case.

When a settlement or verdict is awarded, a previously agreed-upon percentage of the award will be used to cover the lawyers’ fees and the costs, and the rest goes to the victim or their family members. 

If you or a loved one has been harmed after taking Truvada, fill out the form on the side of the screen for a free case evaluation.

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10 Cited Research Articles

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