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Quote of the Day - I love drugs, but I hate hangovers, and the hatred of the hangover wins by a landslide every time. - Margaret Cho
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My Learned Friends, Want to be A 1L?

We're back to First Year Law School, and torts class. Specifically, the learned intermediary rule.

The rule deals with the sufficiency of warnings. In this instance, it deals with side effects and injuries that result from taking prescription drugs. Drug manufacturers warn doctors, and doctors are in turn obligated to warn consumers. Or so you would think.

One consumer, Robert Larkin, took drugs manufactured by Pfizer. He contracted toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. He sued Pfizer.

Pfizer had warned Larkin's doctor of the possibility of both of these side effects. The company defended the case on the basis of the learned intermediary rule, and claimed that it wasn't their responsibility to warn Larkin, it was the doctor's.

Larkin lost. The Kentucky Supreme Court held for Pfizer, and endorsed the Rule (Subscription needed to view). By a 4-3 vote.

It was a close one, but still a win for the manufacturer. Now, I assume, Larkin will sue the doctor, who likely doesn't have as deep a pocket as Pfizer.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 10:58 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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