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Wooderson v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.

681 P.2d 1038 (1984)

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Wooderson v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.

Kansas Supreme Court

681 P.2d 1038 (1984)

Facts

Carol Lynn Wooderson (plaintiff) sued Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. (Ortho) (defendant) for personal injuries after Wooderson suffered side effects from an Ortho prescription oral contraceptive that Wooderson took for years. Wooderson, who was in good health and never had any medical problems before taking the drug, specifically alleged that the drug caused her to suffer from hypertension, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and renal failure. Wooderson alleged that Ortho failed to warn her or her prescribing doctor about the drug’s side effects. A jury ruled for Wooderson and awarded her $2,000,000 in actual damages and $2,750,000 in punitive damages. Ortho appealed and argued that it owed neither Wooderson nor her doctor any duty to warn of the drug’s potential for the side effects. Ortho argued that the manufacturer of a prescription drug has no duty to warn the medical profession about side effects until the side effects become so frequent and clear-cut that the manufacturer is convinced that the drug causes or contributes to those side effects.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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