Category Archives: Personal Injury

Generic Drug Injury

Under Alabama law, a brand-name-drug company may be held liable for fraud or misrepresentation (by misstatement or omission), based on statements it made in connection with the manufacture of a brand-name prescription drug, by a plaintiff claiming physical injury caused by a generic drug manufactured by a different company. See Supreme Court of Alabama, Special Term, 2014, 1101397, Wyeth, Inc. et al. v. Weeks, Question Certified from US Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. of AL, S.Div., (Case No. 1:10-cv-602).

 

Wrongful Death

Alabama has a convoluted wrongful death statute. A recent Alabama Supreme Court opinion dealing with Ala. Code 1975, § 6–5–410 and probate court procedure is a good example. The code requires a personal representative, i.e. an administrator appointed by the probate court, to bring the action. The money recovered is not subject to payment of debts or liabilities of the dead person, and is distributed according to the probate code. In this case, the administrator, a sister of the deceased, listed she and her two sisters as the only heirs. She settled the case for over two million dollars and split the money with her sisters. In the mean time, several heirs at law catch wind and file an action in the probate court to get their shares. There is protracted procedural maneuvering in the probate court, then the circuit court, and finally the Supreme Court. The Alabama Supreme Court rules that  probate courts do not not have jurisdiction (legal authority) over the proceeds of wrongful death actions, only circuit courts. See Supreme Court of Alabama, October Term, 2014-2015, 1130385, Bessie Kirksey v. Iris Johnson et al., Appellate Proceedings from Jefferson Probate Court (Case No.: 44653).