Photo of Kathleen D. Wilkinson

Kathleen Wilkinson built her practice and earned her reputation defending complex cases involving toxic tort, asbestos, products, construction, premises, professional liability, employment and labor litigation and coverage, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Notably, she has handled more than 300 Reglan cases in a mass tort action, and is currently handling over 100 medical device claims pending in Pennsylvania. Kathleen is experienced with medical malpractice actions, including improper diagnosis, failure to warn, incorrect prescriptions and failure to heed warnings, some with pharmacies as co-defendants. In addition, Kathleen has defended physicians in failed licensing issues and allegations of assault and sexual exploitation.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ public health arm, issued a report on October 26, 2015, based on research performed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), linking cancer to consumption of red meat and processed meat. In the report, 22 world health experts from 10 countries confirmed that consumption of processed meats will raise the risk of colon and stomach cancer.

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ventilator-operating-room136369331TSI am writing to report about a recent dismissal of a manufacturing defect claim made against a medical device manufacturer in the USDC for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This decision is favorable to our clients that are involved in defending medical devices. We believe this case may dissuade plaintiffs from filing cases against medical device manufacturers in Pennsylvania in the future, at least in federal court.

It has been a long-standing principle in Pennsylvania that the doctrine of strict products liability does not apply in cases involving prescription drugs. This principle was recently affirmed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Lance v. Wyeth, 15 A3d 434 (PA 2014), which was decided earlier this year. As was stated in Lance, for policy reasons strict products liability claims are barred against manufacturers of prescription drugs under Pennsylvania law. However, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has yet to rule whether this ban also applied to prescription medical devices. Before the decision in Lance was made earlier this year, the federal courts in Pennsylvania had ruled that manufacturing defect claims were permissible in cases involving prescription medical devices.


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Assorted Pills_SS_46658200Plaintiff’s expert is excluded for relying on a “novel” methodology to support opinion that antidepressant drug causes birth defects. 

On June 27, 2014, in In Re: ZoloftU.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion excluding an expert in a case that bears a striking resemblance to the facts of Daubert v. Merrell Dow. We think Judge Rufe’s decision in Zoloft will serve as useful precedent to the defense bar and their clients in future pharmaceutical product liability litigation.


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