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Product Liability Lawsuit

Select a company that has been the subject of a product liability lawsuit in the last ten (10) years. Research the lawsuit using legal data.

1. Describe the company and the product safety issue that led to the lawsuit.
2. Discuss the legal theories used by the plaintiff to recover in this lawsuit, how the lawsuit was resolved, and why you agree with the decision in the case.
3. Describe the changes that have taken place in the company to ensure greater safety of this product or its products.
4. Discuss which regulatory agency oversees the particular industry the company is in.
5. Make recommendations to the company about avoiding future lawsuits.
6. Use at least three (3) quality legal references in this assignment.
-Analyze laws relative to product safety and liability.
-Use technology and information resources to research issues in law, ethics, and corporate governance.

Solution Preview

Step 1
1.Describe the company and the product safety issue that led to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is Bruesewitz v. Wyeth LLC - 09-152 (2011)

The company is Wyeth. This was a pharmaceutical company based on Madison, New Jersey. Wyeth was known for making over the counter drugs and prescription drugs. For example, the analgesic Advil was made by Wyeth. In the year 2009, Pfizer purchased Wyeth at the cost of $68 billion. This was a corporate acquisition. Pfizer got access to a large number of Wyeth brands such as Premann, Effexor, and Enbrel. Wyeth has several divisions such as the Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Fort Dodge Animal Health. Wyeth has been involved in several controversies such as illegal marketing of drug Rpamune, and marketing of Prmpro which was implicated in cancers of 14,000 patients. Over the years Wyeth has been carrying out research in vaccines and has marketed vaccines such as typhus vaccine, small pox vaccine, and polio vaccine.

At the center of the case is Tri-Immunol DTP vaccine. This is a combination vaccine: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine. The charges against Wyeth were that Russell and Robalee Bruesewitz complaint that their daughter Hannah suffered from seizures and brain damage after she received the DTP vaccine. Hannah began having seizures within hour of receiving the third of a scheduled five doses of Wyeth's Tri-Immunol DTP vaccine, at 6 months. Within the next 16 days she had 125 more seizures. She suffered from speech delays and autistic like features. She suffers even now from residual seizure disorders and her development remains impaired. The point is that the DTP vaccine that was administered to Hannah came from a batch associated with very high number of adverse effects. Once child had already died and eight other children were known to have convulsions. Bruesewitzes first complained in the Vaccine Court in 1995 but got no settlement because residual seizure disorder was not listed on the Vaccine Table for DTP.

The product safety issue that was brought up by Bruesewitz was that Wyeth was negligent in maintaining its Tri-Immunol DTP vaccine. This vaccine was developed in 1940s and Wyeth had not updated it even though other companies had updated their DTP vaccines. This had led to avoidable harm. The issue is that Hannah Bruesenwitz, received Wyeth's Tri-Immunol DTP vaccine as a part of childhood immunization. The claim was that Hannah's seizures and later developmental ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains Wyeth and its lawsuit. The sources used are also included in the solution.

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