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Case Detail


Johnson & Johnson v. State of West Virginia
On November 19, 2010, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturned a $4.5 million penalty imposed on a drug maker for allegedly misleading statements in communications addressed to doctors. The penalty was imposed despite the absence of evidence that anyone in West Virginia suffered an injury, or that anyone even relied on the communications. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging that the penalty be overturned. WLF argued that the penalty violated the manufacturer’s First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court agreed with WLF that the trial court erred in refusing to allow the defendants a chance to show that their statements were truthful. The trial court granted judgment to the State, reasoning that allegations contained in Warning Letters issued by FDA must be accepted as true. The Supreme Court disagreed, noting that an FDA Warning Letter is an informal communication that does not constitute an adjudicative finding of an administrative agency.
Case Status:
Victory.
More Information and Downloads:
5/14/2010: Download the Brief
7/31/2009: Download the Brief

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