IADC Amicus Briefs - Volume 87, Number 2.

The IADC amicus curiae program has been active in recent months. The following briefs were filed by the IADC since the last Defense Counsel Journal issue:

IADC Amicus Brief Successfully Urges Tennessee Supreme Court to Grant Review in Drug Liability Case (3/26/2020)

On March 26, the Supreme Court of Tennessee granted the Application for Permission to Appeal in Effler v. Purdue Pharma. The IADC had filed an amicus brief in support of the Application. Dick Neumeier of Morrison Mahoney and Charles Michels of Taylor, Pigue, Marchettti & Blair wrote and filed the brief.

In this lawsuit, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that state district attorneys could sue prescription drug manufacturers--here, Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, Endo, and Teva--over the sale of opioids under the state's Drug Dealer Liability Act (DDLA). The DDLA, though, was enacted to deal with street drug crime, not prescription drug abuse. The court rejected the notion that "a drug manufacturer can never be liable under the DDLA even when it knowingly exceeds the boundaries of its regulated framework." Here, the district attorneys alleged the manufacturers knowingly participated in the diversion of opioids for illegal use.

The IADC brief highlighted the importance of this case and urged the Tennessee Supreme Court to grant the application. It discussed the purpose of the DDLA, which was solely to target illegal drugs, not drugs lawfully manufactured and sold under FDA regulations. To this end, the DDLA's repeatedly refers to "illegal" drugs, whereas the medications at issue here are legal under state and federal law. In fact, extending this law to pharmaceutical manufacturers finds no support in any other jurisdiction. Finally, allowing the ruling to stand would have a significant chilling effect on the ability of pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop and sell medications that improve the health and well-being of consumers.

IADC Files Amicus Brief Asking Alabama Supreme Court to...

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