Max Mitchell, The Legal Intelligencer
January 27, 2016
In its bid to toss a $3 million verdict, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has asked the state Superior Court to find that federal law pre-empts a plaintiff's negligent failure-to-warn claims over the name-brand anti-seizure medication Topamax.
During oral arguments Wednesday in Anderson v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which resulted in a $3 million award to a mother who claimed Topamax caused birth defects in her child, counsel for the drugmaker attempted to distinguish the suit from two other cases in which the Superior Court previously rejected similar pre-emption arguments.
In asking the court to find that federal law would pre-empt claims over the reclassification of the drug's warning label, Janssen's attorney, John D. Winter of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, contended that the facts in Anderson were substantially different from the facts in the Czimmer v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Gurley v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals cases that the Superior Court already considered.