Wyeth, Inc., et al. v. WeeksAnnotate this Case
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Southern Division certified a question to the Alabama Supreme Court: "Under Alabama law, may a drug company be held liable for fraud or misrepresentation (by misstatement or omission), based on statements it made in connection with the manufacture or distribution of a brand-name drug, by a plaintiff claiming physical injury from a generic drug manufactured and distributed by a different company?" Plaintiffs Danny and Vicki Weeks filed this action against five current and former drug manufacturers for injuries that Mr. Weeks allegedly suffered as a result of his long-term use of the prescription drug product metoclopramide, the generic form of the brand-name drug "Reglan." The Weekses contended that the Wyeth defendants had a duty to warn Danny's physician about the risks associated with the long-term use of metoclopramide and that the Weekses, as third parties, have a right to enforce the alleged breach of that duty. The Supreme Court concluded: "[i]n the context of inadequate warnings by the brand-name manufacturer placed on a prescription drug manufactured by a generic-drug manufacturer, it is not fundamentally unfair to hold the brand-name manufacturer liable for warnings on a product it did not produce because the manufacturing process is irrelevant to misrepresentation theories based, not on manufacturing defects in the product itself, but on information and warning deficiencies, when those alleged misrepresentations were drafted by the brand-name manufacturer and merely repeated by the generic manufacturer."