March 4, 2009

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that a Vermont woman can sue Wyeth for injuries she suffered after receiving one of the drug maker’s medicines. The ruling affirms an opinion by the Vermont Supreme Court, which upheld a $6.7 million verdict in favor of Diana Levine, who lost an arm to gangrene after Wyeth’s antinausea drug Phenergan was inadvertently injected into one of her arteries during a push IV injection.

Wyeth argued the suit, based on Vermont law, should be pre-empted by federal drug regulations. Justice John Paul Stevens, in the majority opinion, said FDA oversight of drug labeling doesn’t prevent the filing of state-level consumer liability lawsuits against drug companies.

This is great news for consumers… Now the FDA is not the judge as to whether or not a medication is “safe.”

If you have been following many cases against drug and medical device manufacturers were removed from court upon finding that the FDA had approved them as safe. Again, we know how safe the FDA can be – come to my house and we will celebrate, peanutbutter anyone?

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at