For patients struggling to control high blood pressure and chronic hypertension, Benicar (olmesartan) can be a lifesaver. However, for patients who develop some of the more severe gastrointestinal complications associated with the drug, such as uncontrollable diarrhea, it can be a death sentence.
Manufactured by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo and marketed in the United States by Forest Laboratories, Benicar is a widely used angiotensin II receptor antagonist drug prescribed to more than 11 million people each year. Benicar lowers blood pressure by blocking the naturally-occurring chemical that causes blood vessels to narrow and tighten, which keeps the vessels relaxed and the blood flowing freely.
Despite its popularity, Benicar has been linked to a number of concerning, life-threatening and even fatal side effects and complications, leading many former patients or their surviving family members to file lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo.
If your family member or loved one died unexpectedly due to Benicar-related complications, taking legal action against the drug's manufacturer may be an option. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights so you can make a fully informed decision as to whether filing a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate next step.
Benicar Gastrointestinal Complications
Most of the gastrointestinal side effects and complications associated with Benicar are relatively mild, such as bloating, abdominal pain and occasional diarrhea. However, in some patients, the drug can damage the microscopic villi that line the small intestine, resulting in the development of more serious conditions such as villous atrophy and sprue-like enteropathy. Often confused for Celiac disease—an allergy to wheat protein— sprue-like enteropathy is characterized by chronic, uncontrollable diarrhea, and malabsorption of nutrients that results in significant weight loss requiring hospitalization. Severe, chronic diarrhea was the culprit in many of the Benicar complications cases that proved fatal.
Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, the FDA updated Benicar's warning label in 2013 to include information regarding the drug's links villous atrophy and sprue-like enteropathy.
Am I Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
While no amount of money can sufficiently compensate for the loss of a beloved family member, a wrongful death lawsuit that results in a settlement can help ease some of the financial burdens associated with the loss of a loved one, including:
- Medical expenses related to the decedent's death
- Funeral, cremation, or burial costs
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of the decedent's financial support
- Loss of pension benefits or medical insurance
However, not everyone who's interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit may do so. The law limits the filing of wrongful death lawsuits to close relatives and people who were financially dependent on the decedent. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by:
- Members of the decedent's immediate family, such as spouses, children, adopted children, or parents
- Punitive spouses, life partners, and other partners and dependents
- Members of the decedent's extended family, such as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents
- Others who were financially dependent on the decedent's support
In addition to economic damages that compensate the decedent's survivors for tangible financial losses, family members and dependents who file wrongful death lawsuits can also pursue compensation for non-economic losses, including:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of protection, guidance, and emotional support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium for the decedent's surviving domestic partner or spouse
Are You Considering a Benicar Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The unexpected loss of a family member can be both heart-wrenching and financially straining. Taking legal action against a manufacturer whose product brought about a loved one's untimely death can help ensure you and your family are financially taken care of in the way the decedent would have wanted.
Contact McGartland Law today to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your case. Our firm offers a free initial consultation and, because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fees unless we win your case.