United States Supreme Court
131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011)
Gladys Mensing (plaintiff) and Julie Demahy (plaintiff) were each prescribed Reglan, the brand name for metoclopramide, in 2001 and 2002. After its release in 1980, metoclopramide became associated over time with the development of tardive dyskinesia, a serious neurological disorder. As evidence mounted, the drug’s warning label was altered in 1985, 2004, and 2009. The 2009 label instructed that use of the drug beyond 12 weeks “be avoided in all but rare cases.” The prescriptions of Mensing and Demahy were filled not for Reglan but for generic metoclopramide. After using the drug for several years, each woman developed tardive dyskinesia. Each sued the manufacturers of the generic drugs they had taken (collectively, Manufacturers) (defendants). Plaintiffs alleged that Manufacturers were liable under state tort law for failing to provide adequate warnings. Manufacturers pleaded preemption as an affirmative defense, contending that because federal law required them to use the same label as Reglan, it was impossible to comply with a state-law duty requiring a different label. The Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eighth Circuits rejected Manufacturers’ defense. Manufacturers petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.