Reglan cases will still move forward to trial regardless of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of generic drug makers, as plaintiff Strother Lawson’s case proves.
Lawson, who developed tardive dyskinesia after taking generic Reglan (metoclopramide), has filed a motion to have his lawsuit sent back to state court. U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sipple has granted the motion, which will give future plaintiffs the motivation they need to proceed with their Reglan lawsuits.
Lawson originally filed a Reglan lawsuit in Missouri state court with eight other plaintiffs; however, the state severed that case and it wound up being nine individual cases. After that happened, the defendants “removed them to federal court, based on federal diversity jurisdiction.”
This move didn’t happen without a glitch, though, because one of the defendants, First Databank, is from Missouri like Lawson. Under normal circumstances, this would mean that the case would fall under the jurisdiction of the state court. However, the defendants claimed that First Databank was added to the case under fraudulent pretences just so they could avoid going to federal court.
Lawson’s lawsuit claims that First Databank gave him the “patient education monograph” that came with his Reglan prescription. He also says that in doing that, the company was negligent and in violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act because they didn’t fully inform him in the monograph about the real dangers of taking Reglan, which caused him to suffer from one of the drug’s most common side effects, tardive dyskinesia, a Parkinson’s-like condition.
In the end, First Databank couldn’t prove that they were not fraudulently joined to the case, and Lawson won the judgment to get his lawsuit remanded back to state court. That may be good news for all of the other plaintiffs involved in generic Reglan lawsuits because it proves that the Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t completely destroy their chances of seeking justice.