Supreme Court to decide whether makers of generic drugs may be held liable for consumer injuries

03-28-2013
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In a case that could have serious implications for the companies behind generic versions of pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court is set to decide whether consumers who are injured by such drugs have the right to take the drug makers to court and hold them liable for damages.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, generic drugs now account for nearly 80% percent of prescriptions filled by Americans – but for those who suffer serious injuries or side effects from such medication, the courts may block their ability to sue based on the fact that the FDA had already deemed the drug safe for sale. In a court decision two years ago, it was determined that generic drug makers need only include the same warning labels as the original medication; yet the case of Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. Inc. vs. Bartlett will determine whether a consumer can sue a company for selling an unreasonably dangerous drug, regardless of warning labels.

Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen suggested that FDA approval means only that a drug can be sold, not that a jury should be unable to deem it dangerous. The court is expected to reach a decision on the case by June.

Have you been injured by a dangerous drug? Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck today to learn more about product liability and your legal options.

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