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Effects of Supreme Court Ruling on Dangerous Drugs

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 by in Personal Injury, Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

An 8-year-old case that began in Pennsylvania has finally come to a conclusion as the Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiff, setting a precedent that could have a significant impact on how drug makers and sellers will fare in the state’s civil courts.

The case Lance v. Wyeth involved popular weight loss drugs manufactured and marketed by the drug company in the 1990s and which were later withdrawn from the market when it turned out that using them increased the risk of developing valvular heart disease. The lawsuit was filed 2006, and was summarily dismissed because it did not fulfill the requirements for strict liability.

Strict liability for drug companies was based then on two standards: design defect and failure to warn. In the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, a 4-2 decision released on January 21, 2014 established that drug companies can be held liable for drugs that turn out later to be too dangerous to be marketed even if they have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The legal concepts discussed in the Supreme Court’s decision are complex, but it boils down to a simple concept: drug companies have a duty of care that includes ensuring that safety of the public by exhaustive testing of a product before it is marketed, and immediate withdrawal of a product that carry unjustifiable risks.

Law experts predict that this would have a ripple effect in personal injury lawsuits in the state and elsewhere, and can seriously impact distributors and makers of new drugs such as Xarelto (rivaroxaban) which Williams Kherkher states on its law firm’s website can cause serious injury or death. In fact, the first personal injury lawsuit against Xarelto manufacturer Bayer AG and US distributor Johnson & Johnson via subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical was filed shortly after the decision was published and alleged that Xarelto was just too dangerous to be sold.

If you have been seriously harmed from using Xarelto, you may be able to get compensation based on this ruling. Contact a Xarelto lawyer in your area to find out more about it.

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