An Alabama Supreme Court ruling allowing patients taking generic drugs to file lawsuits against the brand name drug manufacturer may be a pivotal decision, and could set a precedent for patients injured by generic versions of other medications to file similar failure to warn claims against brand name manufacturers in the future.

According to the New York Times, the court issued the decision on January 11, 2013 for a generic version of the drug Reglan, but the ruling may well have implications across the country. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that “an omission or defect in the labeling for the brand-name drug would necessarily be repeated in the generic labeling, foreseeably causing harm to a patient who ingested the generic product.”

Though generic versions of drugs carries the same risks and side effects as the brand-name medications, current laws do not allow patients who sustain injuries from drugs like Fosamax, Accutane and Darvocet to file lawsuits and seek legal recourse.

Generic Drug Lawsuit Ruling May Pave Way for Future Litigation

Generic drugs are required to carry the same warning labels as brand-name versions of the drug. A 2011 Supreme Court ruling in Pliva vs. Mensing ruled that generic drug companies could not be held responsible for failing to warn patients about the risks of the drug because they have no control over the drug label. Lawsuits filed by patients who suffered side effects from generic versions of drugs have been dismissed in courts in the wake of the Mensing decision. For example, a motion filed by generic manufacturers to dismiss all Fosamax femur fracture lawsuit claims against them was granted by a Judge in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey in July 2012. Similar rulings have been made around the country.

Though the Alabama decision to allow victims of generic drugs to sue the brand-name manufacturer only applies to failure to warn lawsuits within the state, our Firm is hopeful that it will pave the way for similar rulings in other states. Patients who suffered serious side effects from taking drugs such as Fosamax, Actos and Pradaxa are filing lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries and expenses, and in the future, patients taking the generic equivalents might be able to do the same. To learn more about dangerous drugs and lawsuits, visit The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP will help you understand your legal rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information, call (877) 779-1414.

Published January 16, 2013 by