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Eleventh Circuit affirms summary judgment for prescription drug manufacturer in product liability failure to warn case, finding that prescribing physician’s testimony that he already knew risk information at time of prescription broke “causal chain” of proximate causation

On December 22, 2020, in Hubbard v. Bayer Heathcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., No. 19-13087, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s summary judgment for the defendant in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had not provided an adequate warning of the risk of stroke from use of its oral contraceptive, Beyaz.  The Eleventh Circuit noted that the prescribing physician unambiguously testified that even with the benefit of the most up-to-date risk information about Beyaz, he considered his decision to prescribe Beyaz to be sound and appropriate. The Court concluded that the plaintiff could not establish proximate causation because the physician indicated that he already knew at the time of the prescription what he considered to be substantially the same information that was later included in the Beyaz warning label about the stroke risk, and still prescribed the drug.

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