Justia U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Medical Malpractice
Hubbard v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
In 2012, 41-year-old Karen Hubbard suffered a catastrophic stroke caused by a blood clot to her brain--a venous sinus thrombosis, a type of venous thromboembolism (VTE). She had been taking Beyaz, a birth control pill manufactured by Bayer. While she first received a prescription for Beyaz on December 27, 2011, Karen had been taking similar Bayer birth control products since 2001. The pills are associated with an increased risk of blood clots. The Beyaz warning label in place at the time of Karen’s Beyaz prescription warned of a risk of VTEs and summarized studies.The Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Bayer. Georgia’s learned intermediary doctrine controls this diversity jurisdiction case. That doctrine imposes on prescription drug manufacturers a duty to adequately warn physicians, rather than patients, of the risks their products pose. A plaintiff claiming a manufacturer’s warning was inadequate bears the burden of establishing that an improved warning would have caused her doctor not to prescribe her the drug in question. The Hubbards have not met this burden. The prescribing physician testified unambiguously that even with the benefit of the most up-to-date risk information about Beyaz, he considers his decision to prescribe Beyaz to Karen to be sound and appropriate. View "Hubbard v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc." on Justia Law
Motta v. United States
Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of her Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., claim. The district court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the complaint was filed after the FTCA's two year statute of limitations had expired. The court concluded that plaintiff's claim was not constructively filed in time. Further, without intentional concealment of the appropriate agency or other circumstances that made obtaining the required information truly out of plaintiff's control, there could be no equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Motta v. United States" on Justia Law
Liese, et al v. Indian River County Hospital Dist., et al
Plaintiffs challenged the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of the Hospital. Plaintiffs suffered from severe hearing impairment and brought this suit against the Hospital under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794, and Florida state law, alleging a failure to communicate effectively. The court held that the Hospital's deliberate indifference was sufficient to establish intentional discrimination under section 504 and that actions of medical personnel, including doctors and nurses employed by the Hospital and involved in treating plaintiffs, could be attributed to the Hospital. Accordingly, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment to the Hospital on plaintiffs' claims under the Act and remanded for further proceedings. The court held, however, that summary judgment was properly granted in favor of the Hospital on plaintiffs' state law claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. View "Liese, et al v. Indian River County Hospital Dist., et al" on Justia Law
Williams v. Mast Biosurgery USA, Inc.
Plaintiff brought this diversity action in district court against defendant, a medical device manufacturer, alleging that the SurgiWrap, a product designed and produced by defendant, used in her surgical procedure had a manufacturing defect that caused it to perform in a manner other than as intended, and seeking relief under Georgia products liability law. At issue was whether the district court erred in limiting the testimony of her physicians and in granting summary judgment for defendant. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in limiting the testimony of her treating physicians in light of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the strictures of Daubert. The court also held that plaintiff failed to produce evidence, expert or otherwise, from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the SurgiWrap implanted in her abdomen contained a manufacturing defect. Accordingly, the district court correctly entered summary judgment for defendant.