Federal Court Victory in Maryland

  • April 28, 2015

On April 16, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s client in Morris v. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M).  The plaintiff alleged that 3M had manufactured a defective drug.  Although the District Court held that summary judgment was proper on numerous grounds, it focused on the “learned intermediary” doctrine.  Under Maryland’s version of this legal rule — which varies from state to state — a drug manufacturer cannot be held liable under any product liability theory when a physician prescribes medication for an “off-label” use (i.e., a use that is not indicated by the manufacturer).  Robak v. Abbot Labs., 797 F. Supp. 475, 476 (D. Md. 1992).  Those were the exact facts of this case – the plaintiff’s physician had prescribed the 3M-manufactured drug for an unapproved off-label use.  The District Court also noted that, despite ample time for discovery, the plaintiff and her expert witness had failed to present evidence suggesting that the drug was defective.

 Beck Redden attorneys Troy Ford, Matthew Whitley and Gretchen Sween represented 3M, along with local counsel Alicia Ritchie of Miles & Stockbridge P.C.