Hilton Parker LLC Innovator Liability Appeal Results in 7-0 Win at Nevada Supreme Court

Motion to Dismiss Hilton Parker LLC Nevada Supreme Court

On June 28, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed, by a vote of 7-0, Jonathan Hilton’s trial Court victory over Kirkland & Ellis’s motion to dismiss.  

At oral argument in the trial Court below, Hilton bested big pharma defense star Cole Carter (a former clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts and Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton), and the judge ruled for Mr. Hilton’s client from the bench. In doing so, the trial Court became the first in Nevada to accept an “innovator liability” theory.  

The theory of innovator liability allows plaintiffs to hold brand-name drug manufacturers liable for problems even if the plaintiff only took the generic version of the drug. Hilton successfully argued that this is fair: federal law requires the generic to copy exactly whatever the brand-name manufacturer does, including the precise wording of the warning label.  So brand-name manufacturers should be held liable when consumers are injured by generics.

GSK filed a writ of prohibition.  In GlaxoSmithKline v. Eighth Judicial District, Case No. 85501, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously denied GSK’s request for relief and refused to overturn the trial Court’s decision.  The Nevada Supreme Court upheld a finding of personal jurisdiction over GSK and declined to further address the merits.  You can read the decision here.

Hilton’s brief in the Nevada Supreme Court drew significant attention, receiving over 20,000 downloads according to Write.law, which made the brief available on its website shortly after it was filed. Nevada legal writing professor Joe Regalia called it a “ridiculously good brief.” 

Regalia’s tweets break down the writing techniques Hilton used to keep the brief understandable and engaging, writing:

“When imagining the best legal writers, you might think of big names at big firms. But small firms have powerhouses, too. Case in point: A ridiculously good brief penned by a plaintiff’s attorney at the boutique Hilton Parker LLC.”

Hilton Parker LLC looks forward to helping other attorneys push for adoption of innovator liability in their home states.  Please contact us if you take pharmaceutical cases, and you believe your state would be a good candidate to adopt this theory.