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March 2009

Supreme Court Rejects Federal Preemption - Wyeth v. Levine

The U.S. Supreme Court on March 4, 2009 issued what will be one of the most important decisions of this term. In Wyeth v. Levine, the court wrote in a 6 to 3 opinion a sweeping and powerful rejection of Wyeth's argument, that plaintiff's right to sue was barred by the concept of federal preemption.

Plaintiff's arm had to be amputated when the drug Phenergan was injected into her vein by the IV-Push method. A jury found in her favor, finding that Wyeth failed to adequately warn of the risks of this method. Wyeth argued that it was immune from suit and the jury's finding must be overturned.

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