Product Liability -- 2018

Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC   (7th Circuit)

Brand manufacturer's "innovator" liability

The NAM filed an amicus brief supporting GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a tort case on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiffs prevailed below in asking the court to hold GSK liable for tort damages for a generic product that injured the plaintiffs, even though GSK made the name brand of the drug and did not participate in the selling or manufacturing of the generic drug. Imposing liability for products that a company did not manufacture or sell would deter innovation and stunt the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical manufacturers would have to take into account a higher level of risk when innovating, which inevitably would increase drug prices, making them less accessible.The NAM's brief asked the Seventh Circuit to hold to the longstanding principle that defendants cannot be held liable for tort damages for products they did not sell or manufacturer, despite plaintiff’s desire to create an exception for the pharmaceutical industry. The Seventh Circuit reversed the judgment against GSK and concluded that GSK could not be held liable because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration actively prohibited GSK from adding the plaintiff’s desired warning.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (January 29, 2018)


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