A little over a month ago, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Superior Court (the Commonwealth’s general intermediate appellate court deciding a test case, Zitney v. Wyeth LLC, 2020 WL 6129173 (Pa. Super. Oct. 19, 2020), that held, as a matter of first impression, that there was no separate duty for a prescription medical product manufacturer – after providing concededly adequate warnings with its product – to take the further step of repeating those warnings in a “Dear Healthcare Provider” (sometimes called “Dear Doctor”) letter addressed directly to the plaintiff’s prescribing physician.
At the time, we described Zitney as a “significant, albeit unpublished, decision.” It seemed odd to us that, with Zitney having been pursued deliberately as a test case, that the result would be non-published, and thus non-precedential. Evidently, that seemed odd to the prevailing defendants as well. The Superior Court has now granted an application for publication (timely filed by the prevailing defendants), and we’re pleased to update our readers that Zitney is now a publish, fully precedential decision. The new citation (the memorandum cited above and in our original post is now withdrawn) is: Zitney v. Wyeth LLC, ___ A.3d ___, 2020 PA Super 278, 2020 Pa. Super. Lexis 954 (Pa. Super. Dec. 1, 2020).
As for the court’s reasoning in Zitney, the decision is substantively verbatim identical to what we described in our prior post.