Written by Christopher M. Placitella, Esquire
A user of Accutane who had no reason to think the acne drug was the cause of her irritable bowel disease when diagnosed was not bound by the two-year statute of limitations for product liability suits. The state Supreme Court on Monday, in Kendall v. Hoffman-LaRoche Inc., A-73-10, rejected manufacturer arguments that warnings approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and defenses provided by New Jersey's Products Liability Act barred use of the discovery rule.
The discovery rule states that even if someone is injured, it is not until the person learns of the cause of the injury that the two year statute of limitations applies. Although FDA-approved warnings have a presumption of validity, they "may be overcome by evidence that tends to disprove the presumed fact," the Court said.