Justia Products Liability Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Arizona Supreme Court
Varela v. FCA US LLC
The Supreme Court held that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (the Agency) has not established a clear policy objective concerning automatic emergency breaking (AEB) technology that preempts state tort law claims based on an auto manufacturer's alleged failure to install AEB.Plaintiff sued Chrysler alleging negligence, defective product design, defective product warning, and wrongful death. Chrysler moved to dismiss the lawsuit, asserting that it was preempted given the Agency's objectives regarding the development and deployment of AEB technology. The trial court granted Chrysler's motion. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the Agency did not intend to preempt tort claims based on the absence of AEB. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's order, holding (1) the Agency has neither conveyed an authoritative statement establishing manufacturer choice as a significant federal policy objective nor made explicit a view that AEB should not be regulated; and (2) therefore, the Agency has not established a policy objective that actually conflicts with the claims at issue. View "Varela v. FCA US LLC" on Justia Law
Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.
Plaintiff was diagnosed with drug-induced lupus, allegedly a side effect from using Solodyn, a treatment for acne. Plaintiff sued Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, which manufactures and distributes Solodyn, alleging that Medicis knowingly represented and omitted material facts in connection with the sale or advertisement of Solodyn in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). Plaintiff also alleged that Medicis failed to adequately warn her of the consequences of the long-term use of Solodyn. The superior court granted Medicis’s motion to dismiss. At issue on appeal was the learned intermediary doctrine (LID), under which a manufacturer satisfies its duty to warn end users by giving appropriate warnings to the class of persons who may prescribe or administer the product. The Supreme Court reversed the superior court’s order dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint, holding (1) the LID does not prevent Plaintiff from suing Medicis; (2) Plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to survive Medicis’s motion to dismiss with regard to her products liability claim; and (3) the CFA applies to prescription pharmaceuticals, and therefore, Plaintiff alleged an actionable claim under the CFA. View "Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp." on Justia Law