Can You Sue a Generic Drug Manufacturer?

Did you know that if you take a generic drug and you end up getting sick or injured due to the effects of the drug, you likely have no recourse against drug manufacturer? In the United States Supreme Court decision of PLIVA v. Mensing (2011), the nation's highest court held that generic drug manufacturers are immune from state law failure to warn claims as drug manufacturers only have to provide the exact same warnings that the original drug manufacturer provided with the drug; a generic drug manufacturer may not change the label unilaterally.

This means that the original drug manufacturer that knew there was a problem with their drug, and did not then change the warning, can be held liable under state law theories of recovery; but a generic drug manufacturer may not be held liable under state law as there is no recovery because federal law requires the generic drug manufacturer to follow, exactly, the warning provided by the original drug manufacturer. Very strange result. Moral of this story: Do not request generic drugs, but take brand-name drugs, as if something bad were to happen, you have recourse to justice via the civil justice system.