A plaintiff who alleged her daughter died as a result of taking Redux, a drug manufactured by Wyeth can pursue a negligent design defect claim, a Pennsylvania appellate court has ruled in reversing a summary judgment. The plaintiff’s daughter died in 2004, shortly after being diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension. The plaintiff alleged that her daughter’s condition was caused by her taking Redux for three months in 1997. The plaintiff filed various product liability claims against Wyeth, including a negligent design defect claim.
Wyeth argued that, under state law, prescription drugs like Redux are exempt from strict liability design defect claims, and that the exemption should likewise extend to negligent design claims. The court disagreed, saying:
Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, a negligent design defect claim is considered to be distinct from, and not subsumed within, a strict liability design defect claim. Consequently, [the plaintiff's] negligent design claim is not precluded … and is a valid cause of action upon which relief may be granted.
But, the court concluded that Wyeth could not be liable under state law for negligently marketing Redux or negligently failing to withdraw the drug from the market. The claim will proceed only on the negligent design theory.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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