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Supreme Court takes up design-defect drug case

In Bartlett v. Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., the 1st Circuit ruled that a Supreme Court ruling on generic labeling did not extend to design-defect claims

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review an appeals court’s decision that generic drug manufacturers can face lawsuits over alleged problems in the design of drugs, regardless of federal protections against design-defect claims.

In early 2005, New Hampshire resident Karen Bartlett suffered a rare reaction to the generic anti-inflammatory drug sulindac that left her nearly blind and covered in burn-like lesions. She sued the drug’s maker, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., for design defects under state law and subsequently won a $21 million jury award.

Alanna Byrne

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