Life Science Compliance Update

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September 06, 2017

This Isn’t Walmart: The Supreme Court Narrows Forum-Shopping Options


In a decision of great import to pharmaceutical and device companies, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bristol- Myers Squibb in a jurisdictional argument at the nation’s Highest Court. This article outlines the background, the case decision, and the decision’s ramifications to companies.

As the arguments about why pharmaceutical prices are rising so quickly grow more contentious, so too has the debate about tort reform and products liability. Recently, during one of last days of its most recent term, the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) issued a decision that will make it harder for plaintiffs to sue corporations in state courts for damages caused by manufacturers’ products. The nearly unanimous decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, et al., has been hailed as “one of the most important mass tort/product liability decisions.”

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