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Supreme Court Will Hear Case That Decides Where Consumers Can Sue Pharmaceutical Companies

In November, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether a woman whose arm was amputated may keep more than $6 million from a jury award. The award was against a pharmaceutical company who failed to warn her adequately about the risks of one of its drugs. The woman went to a clinic suffering from a migraine and was given the drug Phenergan for nausea. When Phenergan is exposed to arterial blood it causes swift gangrene, which caused the woman to lose her arm. The Supreme Court will decide whether the doctrine of “pre-emption” can be applied which would bar injured consumers from suing in state court when the products that hurt them had met federal standards. Business groups have vigorously pursued pre-emption arguments in a hope to build a barrier against many kinds of injury suits. By leaving the case to the state, the jury is allowed to view the safety of the drug through the lens of a single patient who has already been catastrophically injured. To read the full story, click here.