Reglan battles continue to wage on throughout the country on two fronts – generic Defendants continue to allege that federal law preempted them from strengthening their warning labels, and brand name Defendants continue to allege that they cannot be held liable for harm caused by their generic counterparts. While Reglan cases are filed in multiple venues, many eyes are on the litigation in Pennsylvania and California state courts, where the majority of Reglan cases are filed. Pennsylvania was the first state to consolidate Reglan cases for discovery management and bellwether trial settings, and the state has so far rejected the Defendants’ attempts to absolve themselves from all liability.
In our last Reglan update in February of this year, we reported that generic drug manufacturers sought to appeal Judge Sandra Moss’s decision to overrule their objections to the Plaintiffs’ Master Complaint. This decision effectively dismissed generic Defendants’ arguments that all claims against them were preempted under the US Supreme Court’s Mensing decision. Under Pennsylvania law, generics were permitted to seek appeal on this issue to the state’s Superior Court. That Court denied all of the petitions for permission to appeal. Generics then filed a petition to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On August 22, 2012, that Court also denied their petitions.
But, on September 7, 2012, brand name Defendant Wyeth filed a petition to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, generally arguing that they are also preempted from Plaintiffs’ state law claims against them because they divested from the Reglan product in 2001, thus rendering it impossible for them to have made any changes to the product labeling after that date. While this appeal does not bear upon the future ability to raise claims against generic manufacturers, it can serve as further delay in Reglan proceedings, including the ability to reconvene discovery and reset cases for trial. For more information about the status of Reglan litigation, contact our Mass Torts Section at 800-898-2034.
Source: Much of the material comes from the Pennsylvania Reglan Litigation Group, as well as from briefing by the parties and the orders from the courts.