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Tucker Ellis Client Not Liable in Appeal of Birth-Control Patch Case

December 2015
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A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected all claims in the appeal.

On December 11, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit ruled that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries are not liable for New York teenager Stephanie Yates's stroke suffered one week after she began using the Ortho Evra birth-control patch. The plaintiff alleged design and manufacturing defects, negligence, and breach of implied warranty and failure to warn. The court unanimously rejected all plaintiff's claims in an appeal of the January 2015 ruling that the manufacturer was not liable, ending multidistrict litigation that comprised more than 1,500 cases over the past eight years.

A spokesperson for J&J subsidiary Janssen Global Services LLC said the Sixth Circuit court "is the first federal court of appeals to address whether federal law preempts state law design claims asserted against the manufacturer of a brand-name pharmaceutical and has provided guidance in this important area of law."

Tucker Ellis attorneys Irene Keyse-WalkerRobert Tucker, Julie Callsen, and Michael Ruttinger represented Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals et al. with co-counsel Drinker Biddle & Reath.

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