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A Step in the Right Direction for Pharmaceutical Companies Doing Business in New Jersey – DeBoard/Bailey v. Wyeth

Posted on October 19th, 2011 | Author: Steven A. Karg

On September 29, 2011, a New Jersey Appellate Division panel affirmed Judge Happas’ summary judgment order in Bailey v. Wyeth, 2008 WL 8658571 (N.J.Super. Law Div. 2008), for substantially the reasons expressed by Judge Happas in her opinion. DeBoard/Bailey v. Wyeth, 2011 WL 4482558 (N.J. Super., App, Div. 2011). In Bailey, Judge Happas granted summary judgment to pharmaceutical defendants based upon the New Jersey statutory rebuttable presumption of adequacy provided to FDA-approved warnings on prescription drugs. See N.J.S.A. 2A:58C-4. The affirmance of Judge Happas’ opinion is significant because her opinion defined the effect and operation of that rebuttable presumption, and severely limited the methods/grounds available to plaintiffs for rebuttal. Judge Happas also discussed why collateral claims of statutory consumer and common law fraud must be dismissed in the context of a products liability lawsuit brought under the New Jersey Product Liability Act. To read Judge Happas’ opinion in detail, see Bailey v. Wyeth, 2008 WL 8658571 (N.J.Super. Law Div. 2008), aff’d, DeBoard/Bailey v. Wyeth, 2011 WL 4482558 (N.J. Super., App, Div. 2011).