High Court Ruling May Hobble Suits Against Generics

By Erin Fuchs (June 23, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Thursday that federal law preempts state failure-to-warn claims against generic-drug manufacturers will severely hinder or even wipe out product liability suits against generics companies, lawyers said.

In a 5-4 reversal, the Supreme Court ruled that state-law tort claims against generics manufacturers were preempted because the Hatch-Waxman Amendments require generics to use the same warning label as brand-name companies.

The opinion reverses Fifth and Eighth Circuit decisions that allowed state-law tort claims against Pliva Inc. and Activis Inc., in consolidated suits claiming they failed to warn consumers that generic versions of Wyeth Inc.'s Reglan was tied to...

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