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Rowe v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc.
New Jersey Supreme Court
189 N.J. 615, 917 A.2d 767 (2007)
Rowe (plaintiff), a Michigan resident, brought a products-liability action in a New Jersey state court against two New Jersey drug manufacturers (defendants) of Accutane, a drug used to treat acne. Rowe alleged that the manufacturers failed to warn him that Accutane might cause depression. Rowe became depressed and attempted suicide after taking the drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the warning that had accompanied the drug. Under Michigan law, FDA approval of a warning bars any action about its adequacy. Under New Jersey law, FDA approval only creates a rebuttable presumption of the warning’s adequacy. The trial court applied Michigan law and dismissed Rowe’s suit. The appellate court reversed and held that New Jersey law applied. The drug manufacturers appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lefelt, J.)
Dissent (Stern, J.)
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