The Work

November 10, 2008 11:21 AM

Another Major Wyeth Case in California

Posted by Zach Lowe

We've written plenty about Wyeth v. Levine, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case argued last week that will help decide whether drug companies are immune from damages suits if the FDA approved the warning labels on their drugs.

But Wyeth was in the news Friday for a different reason, when a California state appeals court stunned  drug-law experts by ruling that a suit against the company can go forward, Am Law Daily sibling publication the Recorder reports. In the suit, a woman who suffers a serious neurological disorder allegedly linked to her use of a prescription drug can sue Wyeth for damages -- even though the drug at issue is a generic version of the New Jersey company's Reglan, which is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease.

The experts who run the Drug and Device Law blog (both trial lawyers at Am Law 100 firms) wrote that the decision "effectively stands product liability law on its head" in going against precedents. The lawyers, James Beck and Mark Herrmann, wrote that the decision could spawn lawsuits between brand-name drug companies and generic manufacturers arguing over who is liable for patient damages, the Recorder says.

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