Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett

Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett

This case presents the issue of whether design-defect claims against generic drug manufacturers are preempted by federal law.  A New Hampshire jury awarded plaintiff Karen Bartlett more than $21 million in compensatory after she suffered catastrophic injuries caused by Mutual’s generic drug, sulindac.  Mutual argues that the jury verdict should be set aside and Ms. Bartlett should recover nothing because her claims are preempted.

Public Justice joined an amici brief with the American Association for Justice arguing that there is no “impossibility” conflict between federal and state law because Mutual could have complied with both by not selling its drug, and that design-defect claims like Ms. Bartlett’s complement the purposes and objectives of the federal drug statute.

The brief was written by Andre Mura of the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

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