The Public Justice Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to pursue high impact lawsuits in an effort to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuse, after a huge victory in California Supreme Court, for Victims of Badly Labeled Generic Drug.
Great news! The California Supreme Court just unanimously held in T.H. v Novartis that name-brand prescription drug manufacturers can be held liable when inadequately labeled generic drugs injure consumers — because generic drugs have to use the same warning labels as name-brand drugs. The name-brand drug manufacturers essentially write the generic drugs’ labels, so they need to be held accountable when they fail to disclose the drugs’ dangers and people are injured or killed.
This is an enormous, precedent-setting victory for consumers and corporate accountability. It will open the courthouse doors for millions of people injured by generic drugs.
Congratulations to Public Justice Senior Attorney Leslie Brueckner, who argued the case, along with Ben Siminou, formerly with Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP of San Diego. The details and a link to the decision are in Leslie’s blog, hot off the presses, here: http://bit.ly/2zdtdNK
CAOC and AAJ filed an amicus brief on our support, and Public Citizen and AARP did so, too. We are grateful to them all.
This decision should have a major impact nationwide. It is the only standing ruling of a state high court recognizing that brand-name drug manufacturers have a duty not to misrepresent the dangers of their drugs that extends to consumers of generic drugs. The impact will be immense because generic drugs make up over 90% of all drugs consumed in America. Yet, under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in PLIVA v. Mensing, generic manufacturers are immune from liability for mislabeled generic drugs that injure consumers. That decision left consumers completely unprotected for injuries caused by mislabeled generic drugs. The ruling we just won establishes that, because brand-name manufacturers write the labels for all drugs, both brand and generic, they are 100% responsible where their inadequate labels injure consumers of generic versions of their drugs.
Public Justice also won a second important ruling in the case: that a ‘former manufacturer’ that sells off its right to make a drug before the plaintiff is injured is still on the hook for the plaintiffs’ injuries. No court anywhere has previously so ruled.
Leslie will also be arguing this issue before West Virginia’s high court in January, so the national profile of this argument and theory is rapidly rising.
In a year when a lot of bad things have happened, this is a welcome piece of great news.
Have a great holiday!
Executive Director, Public Justice
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Public Justice pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses.
The Public Justice Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable membership organization that supports Public Justice’s cutting-edge litigation and educates the public about the critical issues it addresses. Our membership includes leading trial lawyers, appellate lawyers, consumer advocates, environmental attorneys, employment lawyers, civil rights attorneys, class action specialists, law professors, law students, public interest advocates, and other people who care about justice.
The Public Justice Foundation Website: https://www.publicjustice.net