Drug Product Liability Litigation Seminar

Section 1, Fall 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 10/10
Credits: 2
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • M
  • 1300-1500
  • SL107
08/30/2021 11/29/2021

Course Description

More product liability lawsuits are filed against prescription drug manufacturers than against all other industries combined. As one legal scholar put it, the pharmaceutical industry is now “in tobacco-land in terms of how much people hate it,” and drug product liability litigation is now a “growth industry.” This course will consider the theory and practice of such lawsuits before, and now after, the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Wyeth v. Levine (2009), Plia v. Mensing (2011), and Barnett v. Mutual Pharm. (2013). At the outset, we will focus on the similarities and differences between such litigation and other product liability cases, using the “Phen-Fen” cases tried by the instructor as a model, and on the special context of FDA regulation. We will then consider the legal principles governing such lawsuits, such as inadequate warning; the learned intermediary doctrine; and medical causation. The course will also consider the practical application of those doctrines, including the problems when doctors are witnesses; discovery strategies; and techniques to present complex information to juries.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): Flex
Description: A brief, open-book, take-home quiz will be required (details to be announced). The deadline will be no later than two weeks after the last class session.

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: A short "bench memo" (due date to be announced) will be due to the instructor (not via EXPO).

Other Work
Class participation is expected.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: Drug Product Liability Litigation: Principles and Practice (8659)
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes: This class will meet concurrently in the same room with Drug Prod. Liab. Litigation: Principles and Practice (LAW 8659).The 3-credit Principles and Practice section of the course, which will not meet with this class, will be expected to prepare a short portion of an opening jury statement, which will then be combined and presented to a “jury” recruited from Charlottesville residents for the last class meeting, while the 2-credit Seminar section of the course will not be required to do so, although they are welcome to attend the last class meeting to watch.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Tuesday, November 23, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 03, 11:59 PM