The Supreme Court’s May 2009 ruling in Ashcroft v. Iqbal (pdf) is quickly becoming the best thing to happen to the products liability defense bar since Daubert. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the dismissal of a false-marketing suit involving AstraZeneca‘s anti-psychotic drug Seroquel because it didn’t meet the new, tougher pleading standard the Court laid down in Iqbal. Now we have word of two other recent Iqbal dismissals involving controversial products. No wonder Sen. Arlen Specter is on the warpath against Iqbal.
On July 23, Judge Herman Weber tossed manufacturing and design defect claims in Frey v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., in which Amanda Frey sued Novartis when she developed multi-organ failure after taking an epilepsy drug called Trileptal. In his 13-page opinion (pdf), Weber concluded that Frey’s lawyers at O’Connor Acciani & Levy “have failed to allege any facts that would permit the court to conclude that a manufacturing defect occurred and that the defect was the proximate cause of Amanda Frey’s alleged injuries.” Lead counsel for Novartis was Michael Junk of Hollingsworth LLP, who didn’t immediately return our call. [Hat tip: Drug and Device Law.]
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