The Wall Street Journal’s editorialists have rung the alarm bell on “The Threat of ‘Innovator Liability.’” They’re right to call attention to this latest weed in the liability landscape, but they’ve missed a big piece of the story.
Wyeth Inc. (a big pharmaceutical company) invented, patented, and until 2002 sold an acid reflux drug called Reglan. The drug has since been sold by a generic company. Danny Weeks claims to have suffered bad side effects from taking the generic stuff, which he insists was mislabeled. Naturally, he sued; naturally, for fraud and failure to warn; naturally, in state court (Alabama). Less naturally, he sued not the generic manufacturer but Wyeth.