Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett

570 U.S. 472 (2013)

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Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett

United States Supreme Court
570 U.S. 472 (2013)

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Facts

Karen Bartlett (plaintiff) was prescribed Clinoril for pain. The drug caused her to suffer a horrible skin-deteriorating reaction and partial blindness. Bartlett brought suit against Mutual Pharmaceutical Company (Mutual) (defendant), which manufactured Clinoril. Mutual was aware of the drug’s issues, but the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 prevented drug companies from changing a drug label after the drug gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Therefore, Mutual could not change the drug labels to warn of the drug’s issues. Mutual was also subject to a New Hampshire state law that required drug manufacturers to compensate consumers for design defects. The trial court found in favor of Bartlett. The court of appeals affirmed. Mutual appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

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