Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



Drugs - Products Liability

Sterling Drug, Inc. v. Yarrow, 408 F.2d 978 (8th Cir. 1969)

While this case does mention 402a - products liability - it does not rely on it for the holding. I introduce 402a in class.

What were the two points of error?

What is the drug?

What was it originally used for?

What were the non-medical reasons that the US suddenly wanted a good anti-malaria?

Why did Rice go to Germany?

What did the government do to find a replacement for quinine?

What else was the drug good for?

Was the drug FDA approved for this use?

What was the recommended dosage and how was the drug supplied?

When did the plaintiff begin being treated at the clinic?

When was plaintiff first treated by the clinic for arthritis?

How was she treated from 1950 to 1958? (What is a salicylate?)

How did Dr. Olsen learn about the drug?

What is a "detail man"?

Did Olsen dispense the drug or just prescribe it?

How many refills and why?

Was this against the manufacturer's warnings?

How long did she use it and why did she stop?

How was her vision and her retina in 1960?

What is presbyopic? What is the retina?

How was her retina in 1964?

Why did Becker call Olsen?

What did Olsen know about Arlen at this point?

What did Olsen do about the drug when he evaluated plaintiff?

What did Willcockson find and what did he think caused it?

How did plaintiff describe the symptoms of her vision loss?

What is the relevant period concerning the knowledge of the effect of the drug on the eye?

What is the timeline for knowledge about the drug's effect on the eye, starting in 1957?

What are the usual ways the defendant communicated product information to physicians?

How do we know that the defendant knew of the studies?

Were the detail men instructed to warn the physicians about the risks of the drug?

What did the appeals court find the trial court could have found as regards the warnings on the product cards and in the PDR?

Why does this defeat one of the claims of the defendant on appeal?

When did they decide to send a "dear dr. letter"?

When did it get sent and why was there a delay?

What did the letter ask the physicians to do?

What was the physician to do if there were ocular problems?

What about reporting?

How did plaintiff want the physicians warned?

What did Hazel say that some in academic medicine wanted that would undermine this?

What did Dr. Olson know and when?

Why is Dr. Olson clueless about the recent information on the drugs he prescribes?

Why does he rely on detail men?

See any problems with this?

Why is Aralen a prescription drug?

How is Olson like a layman as regards Aralen?

What was the uncontroverted evidence concerning Dr. Olson's relationship with the detail man?

What did plaintiff claim was the standard for warning physicians about risks?

What was defendant's standard?

Defendant and amicus claim that the trial court created a standard that would require all drug warnings to be given by detail men, clearly an unreasonable standard.

1) What did the appeals court say was the real holding of the trial court?

2) How is this related to other facts in the case so as to not create a general duty to warn by detail men?

What did Dr. Hazel put into evidence that got defendant into trouble?

What did the court conclude about the manufacturer's duty to warn?

As to the second assignment of error, the finding that the detail men are the most effective way to warn, why is the date of the plaintiff's retinal damage so critical in the court's finding that the role of the detail man was critical?

What is the dilution of information problem that the court found in warnings to the physicians? (just past the start of *995)

What is the implication of this for product warnings in general?


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