Woman Disfigured by Generic Drug Loses $21 Million Award - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Woman Disfigured by Generic Drug Loses $21 Million Award

Posted:

Courtesy ABC News

Eight years after she was burned and blinded by a prescription drug, Karen Bartlett feels numb.

This week the Supreme Court ruled that Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., the maker of the drug Bartlett took for shoulder pain, should not be held responsible for her injuries because the company had copied the brand drug's formula and warning label.

"I was numb," Bartlett said of the moment her lawyer delivered the news. "I don't even have words to describe it because I can't believe that they would do that."

In a five-four decision, the court ruled Monday that generic drug makers could not be sued by patients over defective drug design because they're required by federal law to copy their brand-name counterparts. The ruling overturns the verdict from Bartlett's 2010 New Hampshire Superior Court trial in which a jury awarded her $21 million in damages, as well as the decision by an appeals court to uphold the verdict.

"I can't believe the Supreme Court can just say, 'I'm sorry, you guys are wrong,'" said Bartlett, whose body is scarred from the fierce reaction to sulindac, a generic version of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Clinoril. "It boggles my mind. I just don't get it."

Bartlett remembers little from the three months she spent at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2004, "wrapped up like a mummy" as the skin eroded two-thirds of her body. She was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare and sometimes fatal reaction triggered by certain medications, including NSAIDS like Clinoril and sulindac.

The ordeal left her disfigured and legally blind. She also has lung damage and difficulty swallowing.

"I have no independence," said Bartlett, 53, who lives off disability checks for a fraction of the salary she once earned as a secretary at an insurance company in Plaistow, N.H. "This ruined my life, basically."'

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Report: Air Algerie plane vanishes from radar

    Report: Air Algerie plane vanishes from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:28 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:28:48 GMT
    An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday.  Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 1:50 a.m. GMT (10:50p EDT), the agency said.

    More >>
    An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday.  Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 1:50 a.m. GMT (10:50p EDT), the agency said.


    More >>
  • Update: Autopsy reveals stab wound led to death of 4-year-old girl

    Update: Autopsy reveals stab wound led to death of 4-year-old girl

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:50:12 GMT
    Victoria Wyatt (photo: family)Victoria Wyatt (photo: family)
    UPDATE: ATHENS, TX (KYTX) - An autopsy report reveals a stab wound to the chest contributed to the death of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt.More >>
    UPDATE: ATHENS, TX (KYTX) - An autopsy report reveals a stab wound to the chest contributed to the death of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt.More >>
  • Why Smith County won't be making rulings on immigration issue

    Why Smith County won't be making rulings on immigration issue

    We're learning more about what led Smith County commissioners to vote on some immigration resolutions and the reason for the outcomes. The commissioners court discussion Tuesday came down to what a county government's role is. More >>
    We're learning more about what led Smith County commissioners to vote on some immigration resolutions and the reason for the outcomes. The commissioners court discussion Tuesday came down to what a county government's role is. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.