SCOTUS Denies Review in Janssen Case

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Fails to Affirm Supremacy of Federal Law

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not review a verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in which a Philadelphia court held the company liable, disregarding the fact that the company complied with federal laws and regulations.

We are disappointed in the Court’s refusal to review Janssen Pharmaceuticals v. A.Y. The Supreme Court had an opportunity to address inconsistency caused by rogue state courts and failed to do so. This failure creates a system in which regulated industries are “damned if you do; damned if you don’t” as state courts are permitted to penalize defendants for following federal law. 

Creating this level of legal inconsistency and unpredictable liability will impair innovation and investment in the development of new treatments. It exposes businesses to 50 different state regulatory and liability structures, making it next to impossible to plan financially when faced with unpredictable legal environments that could result in billions of dollars in legal fees.

We have all witnessed the regulatory process at work as the covid-19 vaccines were developed and went through the full rigors of the regulatory process. These were critical steps toward solving a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. The unfortunate result of legal inconsistency is fewer resources for the research and development of more life-saving medicines, harming the very patients these expansive liability theories profess to benefit.

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