The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the last of three petitions seeking review of a Pennsylvania ruling that thousands of generic Reglan users’ state court product liability claims weren’t necessarily preempted by federal law. The decision keeps 2,300 coordinated suits alive in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas that claim generic versions of the digestion drug caused neurological damage. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Pliva Inc., Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Wockhardt USA LLC all had their appeals denied.
The appeals were from a three-judge Pennsylvania Superior Court panel’s split decision from July 2013, finding that most of the Reglan-related design defect, negligence, false advertising, breach of warranty and other claims in the cases, which are pending as part of Philadelphia’s mass tort program, were not preempted by federal law under the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Pliva v. Mensing case.
The Mensing decision found that state law failure-to-warn claims against generics manufacturers were preempted because generic manufacturers are required to use the same warning label as brand-name companies. The Superior Court’s decision found, however, that Mensing addressed only failure-to-warn claims on product labels and did not preempt the defective design claims made in the cases pending in Philadelphia.
This is a huge win for the victims who suffered injury from Reglan and it further clarifies the preemption issue on generic drugs. Our firm has been heavily involved in this litigation and our lawyers agree with this settlement. If you need more information on Reglan, contact Melissa Prickett, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com.