The Supreme Court’s recent ruling that excludes generic drug companies from liability in Reglan side effects lawsuits has the plaintiffs’ lawyers trying to negotiate for settlements rather than going to trial.
Back in June, the Supreme Court gave a 5-4 ruling that allowed generic drug makers to be released from liability in regard to their lack of providing proper warnings on their drug labels. Since the side effects linked to generic versions of Reglan are the same as in the brand name versions, the ruling sparked frenzy among plaintiffs, who now fear that the ruling will have a devastating effect on their ability to receive proper compensation in Reglan settlements.
Reglan, which is also known as metoclopramide, is a drug that is used to treat various conditions associated with acid reflux. Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a major side effect of the drug when it is taken for periods longer than 12 weeks. Symptoms of TD include uncontrollable limb spasms, facial twitching, tongue writhing and lip smacking. The condition is incurable. It is that condition and others that have caused thousands of plaintiffs to file lawsuits in the first place.
The plaintiffs all claimed that the drug companies didn’t properly warn them of the side effects linked with Reglan before they took it. Many plaintiffs are also claiming that the drug companies failed to update the warning labels even after the FDA issued a black box warning against the drug. The defendants claimed that they didn’t update their labels because they didn’t have to unless brand name drug makers did it; they are only obligated to print the same warnings as the brand name versions do.
Lawyers representing both sides of Reglan lawsuits are now trying to sort out the financial repercussions of the Supreme Court ruling in an effort to work out a compensation agreement. Naturally, the generic drug companies are not being very co-operative as they do not want to negotiate for settlements without a trial since the plaintiffs will have a hard time convincing a jury that they deserve compensation for their injuries when the Supreme Court ruled against it. Right now everyone is watching with concern, but there is no real way to predict the outcome.