06/19/2012 The Texas Supreme Court handed down a verdict in a case against Johnson and Johnson, overturning a jury and lower court ruling and setting aside a 3.6 million dollar judgment against Johnson and Johnson. The verdict essentially relieves drug manufacturers selling their products in Texas for failing to warn the public of side effects and risks associated with their products even if the drug manufacture is aware of those side effects and risks.
This is the first ruling of its kind and it’s not a shock that the ruling was handed down by the Texas Supreme Court. The State of Texas is well known for putting the interest of big business over its own citizens, corrupt politics and harboring a general atmosphere of “pay to play”. This latest Supreme Court Ruling has however, sank the State of Texas to a new low in its failure to put the interest of its citizens first.
Texas has already passed laws that essentially make Texas doctors almost immune from Mal Practice litigation. If a Texas surgeon, while drunk, removed the wrong leg of an car accident victim scheduled for amputation, the damages the victim could collect are restricted by Texas Law to the point that the cost of litigating the case might exceed what the victim could collect from the drunken surgeon.
If you do not live in Texas, be glad that you do not and you may want to think twice before considering a move to the State. The ruling by the Supreme Court of Texas essentially established that Pharmaceutical Consumer Warnings, warnings imposed by the FDA for the benefit of Consumers are useless in Texas courts if a drug manufacturer fails to warn Texans of the risks and side effects associated with the drug. The Texas Supreme Court Ruling essentially States that as long as the prescribing doctor is informed, the drug manufacturer is relieved of the responsibility of informing the consumer. Given that health care consumers are supposed to have the right to informed consent before undergoing any medical procedure or taking any drug, this ruling by the Texas Supreme Court is absurd and raises questions about the courts competence and integrity in the minds of many.
How this decision will effect ongoing pharmaceutical cases in Texas such as the Actos Lawsuit, the Pradaxa Lawsuit, the Yaz Lawsuit, the Zithromax Lawsuit as well as other pharmaceutical lawsuits currently underway in Texas is yet to be seen however, this ruling does not bode well for those who have been damaged or will be damaged in the future by the negligence of multi billion dollar pharmaceutical companies.