Can COVID-19 prompt product liability litigation?
Can COVID-19 prompt product liability litigation? Yes, it can. Unfortunately, even with a severe problem like the one we are facing at the moment, there are people all over the world who are finding ways to deceive people by taking advantage of the increasing panic.
On March 6th, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued seven warning letters to companies making alleged unauthorized claims related to the prevention or treatment of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition to publishing the joint warning letters, the FDA issued a press release announcing the actions taken and pages on its website (www.fda.gov) dedicated to COVID-19 issues. The FDA also posted an album of pictures of the alleged fraudulent products being promoted for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
So far, there are no authorized products or medicines to mitigate, prevent, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Any company or person who claims to have products with these purposes would be committing a crime that could result in legal action, including injunction and seizure.
The letters also indicated that, according to the FTC Act, all advertising must be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. As there are currently no authorized vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19, the FTC asserted that there is no competent and reliable scientific information to support any claims. So, even if it were legal to sell non-drug products to treat COVID-19 under the FD & C Act, which it is not, the claims would not be substantiated either.
If you have seen any information about products that allegedly do so, don’t buy or order anything. You should report it to the corresponding authorities. And if you have already bought something, report it to the police and contact us to talk about the situation and the way we can take legal action for this. There are no treatments at the moment. Please don’t let anybody fool you or your loved ones. This will be monitored and strictly scrutinized by the FDA and the FTC.
They have historically demonstrated aggressive action against alleged unauthorized advertising about pandemic outbreaks and have previously sent warning letters to companies.