Articles Posted in Drugs & Biotech

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In this appeal arising from a demurrer, Plaintiffs could allege a cause of action against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation for warning label liability. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal, which directed the trial court to enter an order sustaining Novartis’s demurrer with leave to amend Plaintiffs’ negligence and negligent misrepresentation causes of action. Plaintiffs claimed, inter alia, that Novartis knew or should have known that its warning label failed to alert pregnant women or their doctors to the risk Brethine posed to fetal brain development. Novartis filed a demurrer, arguing that it had no duty to Plaintiffs. The trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. The Court of Appeal reversed and directed that the order sustaining the demurrer be modified to grant Plaintiffs leave to amend their causes of action for negligence and negligent misrepresentation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) brand-name drug manufacturers have a duty to use ordinary care in warning about the safety risks of their drugs, regardless of whether the injured party was dispensed the brand-name or generic version of the drug; and (2) a brand-name manufacturer’s sale of the rights to a drug does not terminate its liability for injuries foreseeably and proximately caused by deficiencies present in the warning label prior to the sale. View "T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp." on Justia Law

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Eight separate complaints were filed in San Francisco Superior Court by or on behalf of 678 individuals. Eighty-six of those individuals were California residents and the remainder were nonresidents. All of the plaintiffs were allegedly prescribed Plavix, a drug created and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), and allegedly suffered adverse consequences. BMS, which conducts significant business and research activities in California but is neither incorporated nor headquartered in the state, moved to quash service of summons on the ground that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it to adjudicate the claims of the nonresident plaintiffs. The superior court denied BMS’s motion. BMS petitioned the Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate, naming the nonresident plaintiffs as real parties in interest. The Court of Appeal denied the writ, concluding that BMS was subject to the personal jurisdiction of the California courts on the basis of specific jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in light of BMS’s extensive contacts with California, courts may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the nonresident plaintiffs’ claims in this action, which arise from the same course of conduct that gave rise to the California plaintiffs’ claims. View "Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of San Francisco County" on Justia Law