This just in:
Adam W. Mason had won a $7 million jury verdict in Florida state court on a claim that Hoffman-La Roche had not adequately warned about the alleged link between ingesting Accutane and developing inflammatory bowel disease.
This morning, in a per curiam decision, the Florida First District Court of Appeal reversed. Hoffman-La Roche Inc. v. Mason, slip op., No. 1 D08-2032 (Fla. Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2009) (link here).
The decision goes off on warnings causation under the learned intermediary doctrine. At the time of the relevant prescription, the package insert warned of a temporal association between Accutane and IBD. The treating physician testified that he understood this warning to mean “that there was at least a possibility of a causal relationship between Accutane and IBD.” Id. at 5. The treater “would still be willing to prescribe Accutane to his patients [today] even if there was evidence showing that it could cause IBD in rare cases.” Id. And “even if the warning label contained all of the information suggested by Appellee’s expert, he would still have prescribed the medication for Appellee.” Id.
Given that testimony, the allegedly inadequate warning could not have caused any injury to the plaintiff, and the judgment entered on the jury verdict in favor of plaintiff was reversed.
Kudos to the gang at Covington & Burling (and their local counsel in Florida) for obtaining this result.