Adopting a middle-of-the-road approach that may raise more questions than it answers, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of drug and medical device warnings creates a presumption against application of the discovery rule to a defendant’s otherwise-valid statute of limitations defense.  

New Jersey’s Product Liability Act (PLA) creates a rebuttable presumption that warnings or instructions approved by the FDA are adequate. Indeed, in discussing the impact of this presumption on the merits of a plaintiff’s failure-to-warn claim, the state Supreme Court said in its 1999 opinion in Perez v. Wyeth Labs Inc. that "absent deliberate concealment or nondisclosure of after-acquired knowledge of harmful effects, compliance with FDA standards should be virtually dispositive of such claims." ...

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