Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Split Pennsylvania Supreme Court Addresses Immunity of Drug Companies in Products Cases

A split Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling on January 21, 2014 in the case of Lance v. Wyeth, 17 EAP 2011 (Pa. 2014) finding that drug companies are not immune to products liability claims in Pennsylvania for defective drugs.

In this case, the plaintiff was attempting to drug companies under allegations that the companies were negligent in testing, marketing and designing their prescription drug products, including the diet drug Redux.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Thomas G. Saylor who was joined by Justices Max Baer, Debra M. Todd and Seamus P. McCaffery. Justice J. Michael Eakin wrote a dissenting opinion, in which Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille joined.

Anyone interested in reviewing the majority opinion may click this LINK.  The dissenting opinion can be viewed HERE.

For a more detailed analysis of the import of the Lance decision, including any impact it may have on the pending debate on whether the Restatement (Second) or Restatement (Third) should be applied in Pennsylvania products liability cases, check out today's blog post from the excellent Drug and Device Law Blog HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney Ken Newman of the Pittsburgh office of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer for bringing this case to my attention.

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