Pa. Appeals Court Upholds $3M Verdict In J&J Topamax Case

Law360, Philadelphia (May 11, 2016, 4:54 PM EDT) -- A Pennsylvania appeals court Wednesday upheld a $3 million verdict against a Johnson & Johnson unit, after once again rejecting arguments that claims over birth defects allegedly caused by the anti-epilepsy drug Topamax were preempted by federal law.

A three-judge Superior Court panel said that prior decisions upholding verdicts against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. over Topamax-related birth defects had already dispensed with the company’s arguments that federal law did not allow the company to make unilateral changes to the medication’s warning label in order to avoid potential liability under state law.

“Janssen’s argument that impossibility preemption precludes the failure-to-warn claim has already...

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