Marsh v. Genetech Inc.

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Genentech manufactured and sold the psoriasis medication Raptiva, approved by the FDA in 2003. Raptiva works by suppressing T-cells ; because T-cells help fight infections, suppression has the potential to cause potentially life-threatening side effects. Following reports of adverse health effects, including a rare brain infection, Genentech voluntarily removed Raptiva from the market in 2009. Marsh began using Raptiva in 2004 and subsequently suffered viral meningitis and a collapsed lung. She sued in 2011, alleging strict products liability under design-defect and failure-to-warn theories, negligence, breach of warranty, and fraud. She claimed that, before and after FDA approval, Genentech knew of dangerous side effects that it concealed and did not include in the drug’s label. The district court dismissed, holding that Genentech was immune from suit because neither statutory exception to immunity for drug manufacturers applied. Marsh argued that immunity does not apply because failure to submit updated information rendered Raptiva noncompliant with FDA approval when it left Genentech’s control and that her claim was not preempted because it was premised on non-compliance rather than fraud or bribery. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Allegations underlying Marsh’s argument that immunity does not apply are essentially the type of claim that is preempted. View "Marsh v. Genetech Inc." on Justia Law