How Much Can You Get from a Truvada Lawsuit?
How much you can get from a Truvada® lawsuit will largely depend on:
- The severity of your injury or illness caused by the drug
- The financial value of your economic and non-economic damages
- Whether you are entitled to punitive damages
- Whether you are likely to experience future injury or damages
If you were injured or developed a chronic illness as a result of long-term Truvada use, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical company that produces this HIV drug. A personal injury lawyer can help you build a product liability case against the company and represent you in all legal proceedings.
What Is Truvada?
Truvada is a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug designed to treat people who are HIV-positive. It can also be used as a preventative treatment for people who are HIV-negative, so they do not contract the virus.
Back in 2009, the health journal AIDS reported on a study that linked Truvada and other antiretroviral drugs to adverse health risks. Truvada contains the ingredient tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which can cause severe damage to the kidneys, liver, and immune system, among other negative side effects. However, despite this report, it was not until 2018 that people began filing complaints against the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences.
How Do Truvada Lawsuits Work?
If you have never filed a lawsuit before, you might wonder what to expect from the litigation process or what it might be like to work with a personal injury lawyer. These are some of the key steps you can expect to go through when filing a Truvada lawsuit.
The First Consultation with a Personal Injury Law Firm Is Often Free
Many personal injury law firms offer to review a prospective client’s case for free so they can learn if they have a case to bring forward and discuss their legal options. This initial consultation may involve discussing:
- How you were injured or how you developed your illness (e.g., you took Truvada for eight years, then developed a kidney disease)
- Whether you have proof that you took Truvada for the length of time you claim (e.g., your medical records show that you took Truvada as a prescription treatment after being diagnosed with HIV)
- If you have stopped taking Truvada (and if so, when you stopped)
- How your injury or illness affected your life personally (to determine which potential damages you might claim)
- The law firm’s contingency fee agreement terms, which usually involve agreeing to delay attorney’s fees unless they win your case
Once you agree to work with a personal injury lawyer, your legal team can update you as they begin to gather evidence for your case and manage the process from start to finish.
Your Lawyer Will Begin the Discovery Phase for Your Case to Collect Evidence
The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, which would be you if you decide to file a Truvada lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will investigate and collect key evidence to support your case, which may involve:
- Requesting access to your medical records to prove your HIV diagnosis, prescription drug history, and other medical history pertaining to your injury or illness
- Consulting your physicians or other medical experts in hopes of getting their testimony for your case
- Consulting other expert witnesses (e.g., economists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, or medicinal chemists) for their testimonies
- Collecting photographs or videos that establish how your health declined while taking Truvada
- Referencing other court cases against the defendant that demonstrate similar points made in your case
The discovery stage can take weeks, months, or longer to prepare your case for trial, not including other delays that might occur in the litigation process. Because of this, your lawyer may file a letter about your intention to sue the defendant. This way, your case will comply with your state’s statute of limitations, which can be as short as one year in some states. Filing within this deadline protects your right to pursue compensation.
Expect the Defendant’s Legal Team or Insurer to Reach Out Once You File
Once your lawyer files a legal notice about your Truvada lawsuit, the defendant’s attorney or their insurance company may reach out to you in response. Depending on how much evidence you have to support your allegations against the defendant, their legal team may offer to settle your case out of court to avoid trial.
The initial settlement offer often serves as a tactic to squash cases early on and avoid having to pay out larger compensation to the plaintiff. It is important that you discuss the value of your current and future damages with your lawyer so they can calculate an appropriate compensation goal to negotiate.
The Negotiation Stage Can Be Long, But Do Not Give In
Your personal injury lawyer will likely recognize whether the defendant’s initial offer adequately covers your damages. If not, they will enter the negotiation stage to petition for the amount of compensation you need. This stage requires patience, which can be difficult if you are facing immediate financial burdens because of your illness.
This is why knowing the actual value of your case is crucial. If you accept an offer without knowing the potential costs of your damages, you may accept a deal that is less than what you need, especially if future damages occur. However, once you accept a financial settlement, your case is over – you cannot pursue additional damages later.
Your Lawyer Will Represent You in Trial if You Cannot Reach a Settlement Deal
If the negotiation stage comes to a standstill because neither side can agree on a settlement, your lawyer may proceed with your Truvada lawsuit and prepare your case for trial. Preparations may involve:
- Scheduling a court hearing for your case
- Pretrial motions to discuss the purpose of your Truvada lawsuit
- Submitting evidence to the court for the defendant to review
- Building your case argument to present in front of a judge and jury
Even if your lawyer begins preparing your case for trial, your case may still settle out of court depending on how strong it is. Otherwise, a jury will determine how much compensation you receive if they rule in your favor.
What Are the Health Risks Associated with Truvada?
According to HIV.gov, using Truvada as a treatment method for HIV can lead to adverse side effects because of its active ingredient, TDF. These potential side effects include:
- Kidney problems, such as Fanconi syndrome and kidney failure
- Liver problems, such as liver failure
- Bone mineral loss problems, such as osteoporosis, bone softening, osteopenia, and osteomalacia
- Autoimmune system problems, such as immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS)
- Other changes to your immune system that may be caused by HIV as a result of Truvada complications
- Lactic acidosis, which is a blood condition that occurs when your bloodstream builds up an excessive amount of lactic acid
Truvada is one of several antiretroviral drugs produced by Gilead Sciences that contain TDF. Other drugs manufactured by this same pharmaceutical company include Stribild® and Viread®. If you took multiple forms of antiretroviral or PrEP drugs that contained TDF, be sure to notify your lawyer, as you may have additional options to pursue compensation.
What Is the Truvada Lawsuit Payout Expected to Be?
Every case is unique, so there is no average payout for Truvada claims. How much you can get from your Truvada lawsuit largely depends on the types of economic and non-economic damages you have as well as any punitive damages the jury might award you.
Economic damages refer to financial losses you suffered as a result of your injury or illness. These may include debts you accrued, costs you paid to accommodate your health, and money you should have earned that was lost.
Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescription medicines (including both Truvada and other medicines you now take to treat your injury or illness)
- Future medical costs, such as ongoing treatment (e.g., dialysis) and medical exams (e.g., ultrasounds, MRIs, and lab work)
- Current and future lost wages and benefits if you must take time off work for medical treatment or your health prevents you from working
- Reduced earning potential if your injury or illness impacts your ability to work or prevents you from accepting higher-paying positions
- Additional services to accommodate your health, such as at-home care, cleaning services, and cooking services
You may claim other forms of financial damages not listed here. These damages often require financial proof, such as receipts or invoices, to prove their value.
Non-economic damages refer to physical, emotional, and mental losses you suffered because of your injury or illness. These damages do not initially have a financial value since they are subjective, but your lawyer will use court-approved formulas to estimate their approximate value.
Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety
- Permanent disability caused by your injury or illness (e.g., permanent kidney or liver failure)
- Diminished quality of life if you can no longer participate in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed
- Loss of consortium, which can occur if your health condition puts strain on your relationship (e.g., you took Truvada as a preventative treatment for HIV but contracted it anyway because of immune system changes caused by TDF)
- Psychological trauma caused by your deteriorating health and discovering that taking Truvada caused your injury or illness
As mentioned above, these damages are subjective. Therefore, you may be able to claim other grievances based on your specific experiences.
Some Truvada lawsuit verdicts have included punitive damages, which are financial punishments against the defendant to prevent them from committing the same offense again. For example, your damages may be worth $400,000, but the jury may award you $1 million in punitive damages to discourage Gilead Sciences from continuing to sell and distribute Truvada without warning users of the potential health risks.
What Is the Average Truvada Lawsuit Settlement?
Currently, no Truvada lawsuit case has reached a settlement or verdict yet, so cases are still ongoing. Major ongoing cases against Gilead Sciences concerning the health risks linked with Truvada include:
- Christopher Pierot v. Gilead Sciences (2018): Plaintiff alleges that Truvada caused him to develop chronic pain, osteoporosis and other bone mineral loss problems, and hip problems.
- Michael Lujano and Jonathan C. Gary vs. Gilead Sciences (2018): Plaintiffs allege that Truvada and other antiretroviral drugs caused them to develop Fanconi syndrome and bone mineral loss problems.
- Vanessa L. Naisha v. Gilead Sciences (2019): Plaintiff alleges that Truvada caused her to lose bone minerals in her hips, which resulted in two hip replacement surgeries and an emergency blood transfusion.
Who Can File a Truvada Lawsuit?
You may have grounds to file a Truvada lawsuit if you:
- Were prescribed Truvada as a treatment for HIV or to prevent yourself from contracting the virus
- Began developing health problems after taking Truvada
- Suffered other damages as a result of your injury or illness caused by Truvada
If you have reason to believe that your health condition is related to Truvada, you can work with a personal injury lawyer to build a case against Gilead Sciences or any other liable parties and pursue compensation to recover your losses.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one suffered serious health consequences as a result of taking Truvada to treat or prevent HIV, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences or another liable party for compensation. How much you can get from your Truvada lawsuit will depend on the types of damages you suffered because of your injury.
The lawyers in our network are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We can direct you to a personal injury law firm that handles Truvada cases, so you can begin building your case. Call 800-874-8678 or fill out our contact form today for a free consultation.