Something else to look out for in early November
An important case will be heard on November 3rd, one day before Election Day.
The L.A. Times had a great article yesterday on the upcoming Wyeth v. Levine Supreme Court case, which will determine whether a person has a right to sue drug manufacturers for injuries to patients caused from the corporation's failure to give adequate drug warnings.
The wrong ruling in this case would not only represent yet another blow to our system of justice; it will also mean a real person with tragically real injuries will be left with no legal recourse for what she would never have experienced if the drug maker had acted more responsibly and posted proper warnings. And as for her injuries, we aren’t talking about just hurt feelings or scraped elbows here—Mrs. Levine, a professional guitarist, lost her arm because the drug maker failed to warn against the dangers of administering the drug through injection.
Levine told the LA Times that when she originally won her case: "It was so reassuring to think, 'My God, our system of justice really works.' "
Not so fast, said Wyeth, the drugmaker with an intriguing legal track record that is at the other end of this case.
It appealed Levine's favorable verdict and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to determine whether the fact that its drug was FDA approved shields the company from liability for Mrs. Levine's injuries.
Standing right behind Wyeth are the usual suspects from the corporate lobby, a group that appears to stop at nothing to prevent ordinary people from being able to stand up to corporate abuse (after all, that would interfere with profits). This is the same group that believes there should be arbitrary limits on compensation to victims of medical malpractice, defends the practice of forcing ordinary people to take important disputes to a heavily biased arbitration system rather than a court of law, and supports allowing corporations to hide potentially harmful information about its products from the public through the use of secret settlement agreements. Boil all of these agenda points down, and whose interests does this group seem to represent?
Certainly not yours or mine, but I guess that should come as no surprise.
Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 08, 2008 in In the News | Increasing Safety | Preemption | Right to Access the Courts | Supreme Court Rulings
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