Drug Product Liability Litigation Seminar

Section 1, Fall 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 8/12
Credits: 2
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • M
  • 1300-1500
  • WB152
09/05/2022 12/05/2022
*“R” means Thursday

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 In re Fosamax (2019). 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): Due Date Only
Description: Students will receive a final exam prompt (and materials) during the last class session, and student's will have until Dec. 12th at noon to upload their work to EXPO.

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 2-credit class will meet concurrently in the same room with the 3-credit course, Drug Prod. Liab. Litigation: Principles and Practice (LAW 8659). The courses do, of course, have different work expectations.

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
ABA Seminar
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, November 30, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 09, 11:59 PM