Press Release May 16, 2011

Goodwin Attorneys Win Summary Judgment for Teva in Alabama Products Liability Action

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama granted summary judgment for Goodwin Procter client Teva Pharmaceuticals USA in a products liability action that had been pending for over five years. The decision came two-and-a-half years after the motion for summary judgment was fully briefed. Goodwin has represented Teva on various matters for more than 10 years.

The plaintiff alleged that she developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare and severe hypersensitivity reaction, at age 12 as a result of ingesting Teva’s antibiotic cephalexin. The  complaint asserted various claims under Alabama law, including strict liability, misrepresentation, negligence, breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty of merchantability. 

Early in the litigation, Teva prevailed on a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s strict liability and misrepresentation claims. All remaining claims were dismissed on summary judgment.

“This is a great win for our client. We were able to elicit testimony and develop critical facts during discovery that demonstrated Teva had fully complied with all of its FDA-mandated duties and obligations,” said Goodwin litigation partner Glenn Kerner.

“The court’s decision reinforces the continued importance of the ‘learned intermediary’ defense. The result also highlights the value of having trial lawyers develop a strong record, which can allow a pharmaceutical company to obtain summary judgment and avoid a costly trial.”

The Goodwin litigation team was led by Kerner, Joanne Gray and Jonathan Price.