October 08, 2013
On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett. The question in this case was whether federal law preempts state law design-defect claims targeting generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.
In a 5-4 opinion the Court held that State-law design-defect claims that turn on the adequacy of a drug's warnings are preempted by federal law. The lower appellate court's opinion to the contrary was therefore reversed. Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Kagan joined. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Ginsburg joined.
To discuss the case, we have Greg Dickinson, who is an associate at Harris Beach, LLP.