What types of damages are available if I have developed diabetes as a result of taking Zyprexa?
First, the easiest damages to value are the ones that reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses. This would include reimbursing you for what you spent on the Zyprexa, any medical expenses, loss of work related to your diabetes, and any other similar types of damages that you might have. This means that you will want to locate or get copies of documentation of what you have spent on Zyprexa and any medications to control your diabetes, your lost income, your medical expenses, any travel expenses, or any other out of pocket expense that you have incurred as a result of your diabetes.
A second type of damages is more difficult to calculate. This would include damages for things such as pain and suffering, loss of economic opportunity, loss of benefits, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship (in a suit brought by a spouse). While it is difficult to put an objective measurement, such as a dollar figure, on a subjective complaint, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life, these are very important damages because they compensate you for losing what you had and for what you will now have to deal with. Fortunately, the courts, attorneys, and insurance adjusters all have a great deal of experience figuring out how to value these types of damages. (See also our section on pain and suffering.) Depending on where your case is brought, there will probably be other similar cases that your attorney and the other side will rely on as a starting point for these damages.
A third type of damages that may be available are punitive damages, which would be used in these cases to punish Eli-Lilly for not making the warnings about the risk of developing diabetes by taking Zyprexa more prominent. The question here will be whether Eli-Lilly acted so negligently that it should be punished for the downplayed warnings. However, punitive damages are not allowed in every state. Furthermore, it can be very difficult to prove that your case deserves punitive damages, particularly in this case where a warning always did exist on the packaging in some form. Talk with your attorney to see if requesting punitive damages might be appropriate in your case.
Finally, you may read about settlements and jury verdicts in other cases involving people who have developed diabetes while taking Zyprexa. No doubt this is good information for you as it gives you a feel for what your case might be worth. However, always remember that different people receive different settlement offers and jury verdicts based on many things: where the case is brought, what the particular facts of a case are, who the insurance adjusters are, your character and credibility; extent of the injury, objective evidence, and, to some extent, who the attorneys are. Therefore, you should not rely on a particular settlement figure from one case as applying to your case. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, your settlement offer may be higher or lower. You will have to work with your attorney to decide whether a particular offer is suitable or not.