The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a verdict and judgment for a Vermont woman who lost her forearm to amputation after injection of Wyeth's anti-nausea drug, Phenergan. Wyeth argued that approval of its Phenergan labeling by the Food and Drug Administration pre-empted any state law claim for injuries resulting from failure to warn of the drug's dangers. The five-justice majority held that the FDA okay didn't provide a complete defense to Diana Levine's claim. Wyeth v. Levine, No. 06-1249 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2009).
Justice Stevens wrote the Court's majority opinion, in which Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Souter joined. Justice Thomas concurred in the judgment. Justice Alito wrote the dissent; Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia joined him.