Baycol Class Action

The U.S. Supreme Court revived a West Virginian state-class action lawsuit against Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol. The Supreme Court held that a Minnesota federal court exceeded its authority under the Anti-Injunction Act by banning a West Virginian state-class action suit. The federal court issued the injunction to prevent the West Virginian state-class action suit after it refused to certify a federal class of West Virginian plaintiffs. The federal court stated that the injunction prevented the West Virginian plaintiffs from relitigating already decided issues. The Supreme Court reversed the federal court’s ruling, holding that the Minnesota federal court had no authority to ban the state court suit because the state suit differed from the federal case and lacked a connection to the federal suit.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the cholesterol-lowering drug, Baycol, in the late 90s. Bayer quickly removed the drug from the market upon discovering its link to several dangerous side effects, including a fatal muscle breakdown disorder. When an individual is injured from prescribed medication, redress is sometimes available under a products liability claim.

In Louisiana, the Louisiana Products Liability Act (“LPLA”) LPLA establishes the exclusive theories of liability that a plaintiff can assert against a manufacturer for damages caused by their products in the state. Most products liability claims against drug manufacturers stem from a failure to warn claim. Louisiana law requires that a manufacturer provide an adequate warning of any danger inherent in the normal use of its product if the danger is not within the knowledge of an ordinary user. A failure to warn claim alleges that the manufacturer breached this duty to warn the consumer of the dangers of the product.

Today, many failure to warn claims are preempted by federal law. Federal preemption has become a popular defense used by drug manufacturers. If you or a loved one has been injured after taking prescription medication, you may have legal rights. You should speak with an experienced attorney who can assist you in understanding your legal claims. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).