Recently, one North Carolina woman’s Reglan lawsuit was continued despite the fact that there was a motion to dismiss the case filed by the defendant.
This case was filed against the manufacturers of a generic version of Reglan. The original makers of the name brand version of Reglan are Wyeth and Schwarz Pharma. However, it was the generic manufacturers Actavis and PLIVA that have been trying to avoid lawsuits. Defense lawyers have been relying on a Supreme Court ruling made in 2011 that removes generic drug manufacturers from liability from injury claims to have their cases dismissed. But on January 11, 2012, a federal court judge refused the motion.
The continuing case was filed by Mary Cleo Couick, who sued all four of the companies amid claims that their warning labels as well as package inserts did not properly warn the public or healthcare professionals of Reglan’s link to tardive dyskinesia, a common adverse side effect of the drug. Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder that is characterized by patients experiencing involuntary movements of the extremities, lip smacking, grimacing, tongue protruding and other Parkinson’s-like symptoms.
Couick’s lawsuit forced the judge to have to decide whether the drug label requirements “preempted Couick’s state law tort claims.” The judge in Couick’s case ruled in favor of a dismissal against her claims against Wyeth and Schwarz Pharma, but would not do the same for PLIVA and Actavis. The judge’s ruling held that “the generic manufacturers had not provided any proof that they used the same labeling information as Wyeth and Schwarz during the period at issue in Couick’s Reglan side effects lawsuit.”
The ruling in this case provides hope for future claimants, who may have been discouraged by a recent ruling to dismiss in another Reglan case. It just goes to show that each case is different and all claims have merit. There is no way to be able to predict the outcome of any trial since all circumstances are different.