Pharma Can Be Liable For Design Negligence: Pa. High Court

Law360, Philadelphia (January 22, 2014, 1:35 PM EST) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for negligence in the design and marketing of drugs, upholding a ruling against a Pfizer Inc. subsidiary in a case over a death that allegedly stemmed from its diet drug Redux.

In a 4-2 ruling, the justices rejected drugmaker Wyeth Ltd.'s arguments that pharmaceutical companies can only be held liable in Pennsylvania for manufacturing defects and inadequate warnings, and they declined to impose a bright-line rule barring all claims over the design of drugs.

"Under Pennsylvania law, pharmaceutical companies violate their duty of care if they introduce a...

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