Children under 14 in Nevada who experienced extreme suicidal thoughts from ADD/ADHD medication Concerta (methylphenidate) may be able to sue the drug manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutical for negligence. Those victims who tried to kill themselves are often left with severe physical injuries from the attempted suicide.
If the lawsuit is successful, Janssen could be liable for compensatory damages to cover the victims':
Nevada law allows personal injury victims two (2) years after being injured to commence a negligence suit. Chances are the case would settle out of court without a trial.
In this article, our Nevada personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Nevada Concerta lawsuits, including negligence claims, standards of proof, and statutes of limitations. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. What can I do if Concerta made my child suicidal in NV?
- 2. What money can I get?
- 3. Whom can I sue?
- 4. How do I prove my claim?
- 5. When can I sue?
- 6. Should I file my lawsuit in state court or join a federal class action?
- 7. What is Concerta used for?
- 8. Has Concerta been recalled?
- 9. Resources
- 10. Related "mass tort" drug litigation in NV
Kids 13 and younger who suffered severe suicidal tendencies from taking Concerta could have a claim against the drug's manufacturer for negligence. In order to win a negligence trial, the plaintiff (victim) needs to prove four things:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff's injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
Plaintiffs would argue that Janssen was negligent by failing to warn doctors and patients that the drug carries a risk of suicidal thoughts in young people. Had the doctors and patients' parents known, they could have explored different ADD/ADHD medications.
1.1. Concerta injuries
The most serious potential side effect is suicidal thoughts. Children under 14 are especially susceptible to these feelings. And if the child acts on these thoughts, the child could die or be left with injuries from having tried to take his/her own life.
Other side effects may include:
- depression and/or anxiety
- drug addiction and abuse
- hostility and/or agitation
- strokes and/or heart problems
- trouble sleeping
- psychosis and mania2
A successful lawsuit would recover compensatory damages for:
- Medical and psychiatric bills (including hospital stays and mental health care),
- Pain and suffering, and/or
- Wrongful death (if the victim kills him/herself)
It may also be feasible to sue for punitive damages, which can be far greater than compensatory damages.
The drug manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutical would be the obvious defendant in a personal injury case against Concerta. Depending on the specific facts of the case, other possible defendants could include the child's physician or the adult who administered the medicine.
Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits have the burden to prove "by a preponderance of the evidence" that the defendant harmed the defendant. In short, that it was "more likely than not" that the defendant was negligent. Helpful evidence would include:
- The plaintiff's medical and psychiatric records that exhibit his/her suicidal tendencies
- Expert medical testimony that Concerta caused the plaintiff's suicidality
- Drug marketing materials and drug labels that omit "suicidal tendencies" as a possible side effect.
Read more about proving negligence.
Nevada's statute of limitations for negligence lawsuits is two (2) years. So victims should seek counsel as soon as possible to explore litigation options.3
A better strategy for suing drug companies than class actions are multi-district litigations (MDLs). MDLs join all similar lawsuits against the drug manufacturer as an efficient way to decide pretrial matters and entertain global settlement offers. If there is no settlement agreement, then the cases return to their original local court and continue individually.
It is expected that a Concerta MDL will form soon.
FDA-approved in 2000, Concerta is prescribed to treat ADHD or ADD. Children may be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD if they exhibit the inability to focus, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.4
No, it has not been recalled. In fact, the drug's warning label in the U.S. does not list suicidal tendencies as a risk.5
In Canada however, Concerta's prescribing information contains warnings about suicidal thoughts and behaviors.6
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Call a Nevada personal injury attorney...
Did taking Concerta make your child suicidal? Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys want to talk to you about getting retribution for your emotional trauma. Contact us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. You pay us no fee unless we win your case.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- FDA - Concerta Information.
- NRS 11.190.
- Concerta official site.
- FDA Concerta generics.
- ADHD drugs may increase risk of suicidal thoughts, Health Canada warns, CTV News (March 30, 2015).