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Bill Introduced to Repeal Drug Industry Immunity in Michigan

David Mittleman

For years, Michigan has granted legal immunity to drug manufacturers whose drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If a drug is later found to have harmful, even fatal, side effects, the manufacturer cannot be held liable in this state. As a result, countless Michigan residents have been left without legal recourse after being victimized by the carelessness of the multi-billion dollar drug industry.

Fortunately, State Representative Lisa Brown has introduced a bill that would end this inexplicable pro-corporation, anti-consumer policy. House Bill 4440 would remove language from the current law that treats drugs differently than other products and grants drug manufactures an absolute defense. Plaintiffs would still have to defeat a presumption of no negligence, but at least they would have an opportunity to prove their cases. The playing field would not be level, but victims would have a chance to get on the field for the first time since the immunity was granted 15 years ago.

Of course, the bill would have to be passed and enacted first. Given the current composition of the legislative and executive branches of Michigan’s government, such a development is unlikely.

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