How Are Damages Calculated in a Truvada Case?

Damages are calculated in a Truvada® case by measuring the plaintiff’s economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, plaintiffs may also be awarded punitive damages by the jury, who are given instructions by the court on how to reach this total. Juries may consider several factors to determine the value of your Truvada case, such as:

  • Whether your illness forced you to incur extensive medical debt
  • Whether your illness forced you to build other forms of debt due to you being unable to work or having to purchase services to accommodate your health
  • Whether your illness causes or caused you significant physical pain
  • The emotional turmoil you suffered having to cope with your deteriorating health, rising debts, and increasing burden on your loved ones
  • Other day-to-day expenses or problems you face as a result of your illness

If you or a loved one developed health issues after using Truvada as a treatment for your HIV, you may qualify for a Truvada lawsuit payout from the pharmaceutical company. An attorney in your state can calculate your personal injury case’s potential value based on your damages.

What Are TDF or Truvada Lawsuits?

Truvada lawsuits, in short, allege that the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug contains the ingredient tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which is known to cause several negative side effects. Per Clinical Info, TDF side effects include:

  • Liver and kidney damage, including organ failure
  • Autoimmune system disorders or problems, including immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS)
  • Problems related to bone mineral loss, including osteoporosis
  • Lactic acidosis

Plaintiffs aim to sue the drug manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, for producing, marketing, and distributing these defective drugs while being aware of their health consequences, as reported in Business Wire. 

What Categories of Losses Can I Recover in a Truvada Lawsuit?

How much money you might receive for a Truvada lawsuit will be based on your unique damages. While the categories of damages may be similar in each case, their exact values are specific to the plaintiff’s actual financial debts, lifestyle factors, and pain and suffering. 

Your personal injury attorney will likely have you discuss your damages in as much detail as possible—with evidence if you have it—so that they can categorize your damages and begin calculating their estimated value. Be as open as you want with your lawyer, as they can inform you about which factors may enhance your case value based on what you’ve experienced. 

The following are the two main categories of compensatory damages you might claim:

Economic Damages

Economic damages involve any form of financial loss, including debts you owe and expenses you have already paid for. Essentially, any costs you faced, currently face, or will face that you wouldn’t have dealt with had you not developed your illness fall into this category. 

Some examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical treatment costs, which include past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Loss of wages, benefits, or pensions
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Costs for domestic services you must hire because you cannot fulfill them yourself, such as childcare, homecare, and cooking services
  • Costs for accommodations for your illness, such as costs for caretaking services
  • Mileage costs for travel if you are far from your physician

There may be other economic damages you qualify to claim. Your attorney may ask additional questions to gauge the financial impact of your illness on your life, including how long you have faced these financial setbacks. If necessary, they may consult expert witnesses who can testify on the extent of your future economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective since they encompass all non-financial losses. This means any form of physical, emotional, or mental loss you experience will fall into this category. These losses may include:

  • Pain and suffering and inconvenience
  • Permanent disability, such as permanent liver or kidney damage, Fanconi syndrome, and immune system disorders
  • Emotional distress, which includes experiencing depression, anxiety, and insomnia
  • Diminished quality of life, including losing the ability to enjoy hobbies and activities you once did
  • Loss of consortium and other changes to your interpersonal relationships

Because non-economic damages are subjective, state and local courts often utilize specific formulas to fairly measure their impact on a claimant’s life. Your legal team can explain this process to you if you would like to learn more about how they calculate your potential Truvada lawsuit payout amount.

Specific Forms of Compensation Available in TDF Lawsuits

The following types of compensatory damages may be available to you if you decide to file a TDF lawsuit against Gilead Sciences. 

Medical Expenses

Because TDF can cause significant health damage to Truvada users, one main compensatory damage you might claim would include your medical expenses. Your lawyer may request permission to access your medical records for your case and confirm which medical-related damages you might recover. 

Common medical expenses include costs for:

  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Surgeries
  • Emergency room care, including hospitalization
  • Outpatient services
  • Physical therapy
  • Bloodwork and other lab testing
  • Imaging exams, such as ultrasounds, MRIs, or CT scans
  • Prescription medicines
  • Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers 

As mentioned, your attorney may consult a medical expert to gauge how much treatment you might need for your injuries or illness, your estimated recovery time length, and potential for complications in your recovery. These factors can affect the financial damages you might face in the future.

Professional Ramifications

If after taking Truvada you suffered health consequences that affected your ability to go to work and fulfill regular work tasks, you can factor these losses into your compensation demands. Professional ramifications could include:

  • Wages you lost due to having to get medical treatment or recover from your injuries/illness
  • Benefits you lost, such as paid time off (PTO), if your recovery took longer than anticipated
  • Reduced earning potential if you now must work in a lower-paying position because of your health, which wouldn’t have happened had you not taken Truvada to treat your HIV
  • Loss of promotions or new job opportunities if your health prevents you from taking positions with greater responsibility or new tasks you cannot physically or mentally fulfill

You may be able to recover a portion of your lost income. Your legal team can go over how to calculate this type of damage, which may involve reviewing employee forms (e.g., W2s or 1099s), PTO plans, and vocational data related to your career field. Your lawyer may also consult a vocational rehabilitation expert to determine the likelihood that you will be able to return to work if you have not done so already.

Pain and Suffering

“Pain and suffering” often serves as an umbrella term for various forms of pain, distress, and even disability. Plaintiffs may demand compensation for physical, emotional, and mental losses they suffered from having to accept that their Truvada treatment caused them significant health issues, which then affected their life on the whole.

Pain and suffering damages may include:

  • Physical pain, such as chronic pain caused by inflammation, liver or kidney pain, bone pain, and general discomfort
  • Emotional distress, which can refer to falling into a depressive episode after your diagnosis, being paranoid about contracting or having a worsening HIV prognosis now that you no longer use Truvada, and being unable to sleep as your health deteriorates or as you pursue litigation
  • Permanent disability, such as permanent kidney or liver failure, that you now must live with (this also includes long-term illnesses)
  • Diminished quality of life if you lost your sense of independence to move freely, fulfill tasks, and enjoy hobbies and activities you love

Pain and suffering is a unique category for most claimants, as these losses can paint a picture of how becoming sick from using Truvada has affected your life. 

Loss of Consortium or Companionship

When a person in a relationship becomes sick, the other partner can become burdened with caregiving duties or financial responsibility. While some couples may stay strong and endure these battles, not everyone can continue to bear the stress on the relationship. 

If your illness or injury caused by Truvada ultimately put so much strain on your relationship that it drove your partner away, you may claim loss of consortium or companionship. This type of damage may involve:

  • Filing a divorce with your partner because of the illness or financial strain caused by the illness
  • Loss of financial and emotional support from your partner
  • Loss of sexual enjoyment as a result of your illness or injury, which may affect your ability to have children
  • Loss of love and affection from your partner

Loss of consortium is also considered a compensatory damage in wrongful death cases. If you survived your spouse who died because of their illness/injuries caused by Truvada, you may qualify to pursue compensation on their behalf. Other wrongful death damages include funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, and loss of parental guidance.

Truvada Lawsuit Case Value

When you agree to work with a personal injury lawyer in your state, one of the benefits you gain is their dedication to stay on top of the latest litigation updates. They will review other cases similar to yours to determine whether you are asking for compensation that is fair to you or if you should pursue a larger financial goal. 

As your lawyer calculates the value of your Truvada lawsuit, you should ask questions like:

  • Will my future medical expenses be factored into my compensation total if I am expected to receive treatment for X amount of time?
  • Have any Truvada lawsuit cases against Gilead Sciences settled? If so, how much did those plaintiffs win—and is it reflective of my situation?
  • Which damages are you listing in my demand letter? Why were certain damages denied (if applicable)?

As your legal representative, your lawyer should respect your decisions and not make assumptions about your compensation goals. Your lawyer should inform you of opportunities to settle your case outside of court. You will then have an opportunity to accept or deny their offer.

How Much Can I Win in My Lawsuit Against Truvada?

Currently, no Truvada lawsuits have settled in court. While this is normal, this can be frustrating if you are not sure how much compensation you are entitled to claim. 

How Do You Calculate Damages in Truvada Lawsuits?

Various damages are available in Truvada lawsuits, but you must be able to prove their value. In order to calculate your damages, your personal injury attorney may request financial documents, expert witness testimonies, and even general recordkeeping so that they can provide this evidence to the court when petitioning for compensation on your behalf.

The following are common examples of evidence used to prove specific compensatory damages.

Calculating Economic Damages

To demonstrate your economic damages, you may use:

  • Medical bills and invoices to prove your medical treatment expenses
  • W2 or 1099 forms, pay stubs, previous tax returns, or banking information to prove your average weekly earnings
  • Invoices and contractual agreements for caretaking or domestic services you hire
  • Insurance policy information to confirm which medical expenses were covered and which were paid out of pocket
  • Receipts for prescription medications, medical equipment, and other necessary items for your recovery

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

To prove your non-economic damages, you may use:

  • Photos and videos of how your illness or injuries gradually affected your health
  • Journal entries that demonstrate your mental health state throughout your recovery
  • Psychiatric evaluation from a mental health professional who can verify your diagnosis (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder) or psychological symptoms (e.g., mood fluctuations, sleeplessness, anxiety)
  • Testimonies from expert witnesses, such as vocational rehabilitation analysts

Hiring an Attorney to Calculate Your Truvada Settlement

If you or a loved one developed serious health issues, such as kidney or liver damage, after taking Truvada as a prescription medication, you may have grounds to pursue compensation from the drug manufacturer, Gilead Sciences. A personal injury lawyer in your state can calculate an estimated value for your Truvada case by assigning value to your damages.

Fill out our contact form to get connected with a personal injury lawyer in your area. Our team works with a network of legal attorneys, and it is our mission to connect you with someone who can help you build your case for a Truvada lawsuit payout.