Pa. Pharma Ruling Opens New Front In Mass Tort Battles

By Dan Packel (January 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EST) -- A Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for negligence in the design and marketing of drugs delivers a substantial new tool to plaintiffs in a state known as a hotbed for mass tort litigation, experts said Thursday.

The court on Tuesday rejected Pfizer Inc. subsidiary Wyeth Ltd.'s premise that under Pennsylvania law, pharmaceutical companies had immunity from all negligence claims beyond the two areas it was willing to concede: manufacturing defects and inadequate warnings. Plaintiffs attorneys cast the high court's 4-2 decision in a case over the now-discontinued diet drug Redux as a clear and resounding victory for claimants...

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