Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court accepted related prescription drug product liability appeals addressing the following issues:

Lance, P. v. Wyeth, Pet., Nos. 600 & 610 EAL 2010:

The issues in No. 600 EAL 2010, as stated by petitioner/appellant Wyeth are:

 

(1) Whether the Superior Court erred in creating a new claim for negligent design defect of a prescription drug, despite Plaintiff-Respondent Patsy Lance's repeated waiver of that claim?

(2) Whether the Superior Court's creation of a new cause of action for negligent design defect conflicts with this Court's settled precedent limiting product liability claims against manufacturers and sellers of prescription drugs?

(3) Whether the Superior Court’s creation of a new cause of action for negligent design defect should properly be argued before this Court because it may affect hundreds or thousands of cases and ignores that: (a) plaintiffs in design defect cases must plead and prove a feasible alternative design; and (b) there should be deference to regulatory authorities?

The issues in No. 610 EAL 2010, as stated by petitioner/cross-appellant Lance are:


(1) Did the Superior Court err in holding, in an acknowledged conflict with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit’s prediction of Pennsylvania law, that Pennsylvania law would not recognize a claim against a prescription drug manufacturer for negligent failure to test to discover a prescription drug's actual harmful side-effects?

(2) Did the Superior Court err in holding that Pennsylvania law would not recognize claims against a manufacturer of a prescription drug, which the federal Food and Drug Administration ultimately ordered withdrawn from the market as too dangerous for any potential users, for negligently marketing that drug and for negligently failing to withdraw that drug from the market?