Monday, March 25, 2013

Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. case brief

Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. case brief
260 Neb. 552, 618 N.W.2d 827 (2000)

Plaintiff appealed from an order of the District Court for Douglas County (Nebraska), which dismissed her petition with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action against defendant pharmaceutical company for alleged injuries sustained following plaintiff's use of the prescription drug Accutane.

OVERVIEW: Plaintiff sued defendant, prescription drug manufacturer, alleging that she developed multiple health problems as a result of taking Accutane as prescribed by her physician. Upon defendant's motion for demurrer, the district court dismissed plaintiff's petition based upon prior case law applying a blanket immunity from strict liability for prescription drugs.

The court reviewed plaintiff's complaint and concluded that the district court properly sustained defendant's demurrer as to claims based on fear of future product failure, a manufacturing defect, an express warranty under Neb. Rev. Stat. (U.C.C.) § 2-313 (Reissue 1992), or negligence. However, plaintiff's claims based upon design and warning defects, and misrepresentation were adequate. Further, the court specifically overruled McDaniel v. McNeil Laboratories, Inc., 196 Neb. 190, 241 N.W.2d 822 (1976), and instead, allowed plaintiff leave to amend her petition to plead that the drug was unreasonably dangerous under a "consumer expectations" test, holding that, in Nebraska, Restatement (Second) of Torts § 402 A, cmt. k established an affirmative defense on a case-by-case basis.

-In products liability cases, there is a significant distinction between a manufacturer's liability as the result of negligent manufacture and its liability for the manufactured product on account of strict liability in tort.
-In a cause of action based on negligence, the question involves the manufacturer's conduct, that is, whether the manufacturer's conduct was reasonable in view of the foreseeable risk of injury; whereas in a cause of action based on strict liability in tort, the question involves the quality of the product, that is, whether the product was unreasonably dangerous.

OUTCOME: The judgment was affirmed in part for failure to state a claim based on a manufacturing defect, express warranty, or negligence; the judgment was reversed in part, and remanded to allow plaintiff to amend her petition to plead that the drug was unreasonably dangerous under the consumer expectations test. The appellate court further held that plaintiff stated claims based on design and warning defects, and misrepresentation.

Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?


No comments:

Post a Comment