Driving on Both Sides of the Road: Supreme Court Hears Bartlett Oral Argument

The Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in the much-anticipated Mutual Pharmaceuticals v. Bartlett case, No. 12-142 (on appeal from the First Circuit Bartlett v. Mutual Pharms. Co., 678 F.3d 30 (1st Cir. 2012)). The Supreme Court will determine what most thought seemed already decided by PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011): whether design defect claims against generic drug manufacturers are preempted by federal law, and whether manufacturers can be held liable when their only other option is to withdraw from the market.


The plaintiff, Karen Bartlett, was prescribed generic sulindac for shoulder pain and developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN), which left her permanently injured and disfigured. Bartlett, 678 F.3d at 34. By the time of trial, the only remaining claim for the jury to decide was whether sulindac was defectively designed. Id. The jury found in Bartlett’s favor and awarded her $21.06 million in compensatory damages. Id.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Morrison & Foerster LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.