On February 13, 2024, Michigan joined most other U.S. states in allowing people who have been injured or lost a family member (as well as state and local governments) to sue pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors for the harm caused by the sale of dangerous drugs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 410 into law on December 7, 2023. With that signature, Michigan repealed a 30-year-old law that essentially immunized drug companies for personal injury, product liability, and other claims arising from the marketing, sale, or use of drugs that did not carry adequate warnings or jeopardized users health and safety. Michigan residents now have the same rights to seek accountability and compensation as most other  Americans. 

Driven by the National Opioid Epidemic

Unquestionably, the push to remove the immunity shield was driven by the opioid crisis that has ravaged communities in Michigan and across the country. Although the state of Michigan and many local governments have secured massive settlements with manufacturers, distributors, marketers, and retailers involved in the spread of opioid addiction, the potential harm from other equally dangerous drugs spurred the legislature to repeal the virtual immunity drug companies have enjoyed to the past 30 years.   

Because of the immunity law, Michiganders and state authorities were hamstrung in their efforts to hold drug companies liable for the damage caused by their unsafe products and deceptive advertising.

Sommers Schwartz Has a History of Taking on – and Beating – Big Pharma

Sommers Schwartz was part of a consortium of law firms that represented Michigan counties and municipalities in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors on claims of public nuisance, negligence, deceptive trade practices, and RICO violations. Michigan governments received $400 million from the suits, while another $400 million was distributed to the Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund.

The lawyers at Sommers Schwartz welcome this important and impactful change in Michigan law. While we have pursued claims against opioid manufacturers and other drug companies for many years, the repeal of the immunity shield will enhance our ability to obtain justice and compensation for the victims of their greed and hold them accountable for their disregard for consumers’ health. 

Please contact us to learn more about the experience, capabilities, and resources we bring to help clients recover compensation in opioid and dangerous drug litigation.