What to do if my brother was given some mental health medication from a doctor but ended up assaulting me in my sleep?

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What to do if my brother was given some mental health medication from a doctor but ended up assaulting me in my sleep?

I had to have major surgery and now have limited use of my left hand. Can I sue the company that makes the medications?

Asked on July 31, 2013 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You would not be able to successfully sue the company which made his medications unless you can show that the medicine caused the attack in some way and/or that it simply does not work--i.e. you have to show a defect in medicine of some kind. This is not easy to do and can be very expensive, since you would need expert reports, tests, tesimimony, etc.

You could possibly sue the doctor if the medicine were not defective in some way, but was wrongfully prescribed (it should not have been given to your brother), or the doctor did something else wrong, such as prescribing the wrong dosage, not monitoring to see if it was working, etc. --i.e. if the doctor him/herself did something negligent, or reasonably careless (malpractice).

However, medicine and medical care is not required to be perfect, especially in the mental health area, where our knowledge is imperfect. If the medicine is not defective and the doctor did what a reasonable doctor would do in that case, then neither the manufacturer nor the doctor would be liable; they must have been "at fault" in some way in the attack for liability to exist.

You could sue your brother for your injuries and medical costs.

You are advised to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation. Good luck.


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