Statement on Supreme Court Decision in favor of Diana Levine

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Statement on Supreme Court Decision in favor of Diana Levine 

For Immediate Release: March 4, 2009

Contact: Cecelia Prewett
202.965.3500 ext. 8369

Washington, DC—The U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision upheld a Vermont jury’s decision that Diana Levine, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Wyeth v. Levine could hold the drug manufacturer accountable for the injuries she suffered—which included the loss of her arm—after taking one of Wyeth’s medicines.

Writing the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens said Food and Drug Administration oversight of drug labeling doesn’t prevent the filing of state-level consumer liability lawsuits against drug companies.  Joining Stevens in the majority were Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas.

The following is the statement from American Association for Justice President Les Weisbrod.

“The Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that state lawsuits perform a valuable and important function in ensuring accountability in uncovering drug hazards.  Also, the Supreme Court rejected the FDA’s attempts to use the preamble in drug regulations to provide complete immunity to drug manufacturers.

It is clear consumers retained their remedy under law when drug companies have failed to provide adequate warnings for the safe use of their drugs.

Today’s decision in favor of Diana Levine proved that even if you are just one person, you can fight for justice and hold your wrongdoer accountable.”

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