June 21st, 2010
02:44 PM ET
4 years ago

High court allows trial on drug safety to proceed

Washington (CNN) - A lawsuit brought by a breast cancer patient against a major drug company will go forward after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the dispute.

The justices without comment Monday turned aside an appeal from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, maker of drugs for hormone replacement therapy.

An Arkansas jury had awarded $2.75 million in compensatory damages to Donna Scroggin, who claimed she developed the cancer from drugs made by Wyeth and Upjohn Corp. Both companies are now owned by Pfizer Inc. The Little Rock resident argued the medicines Prempro and Premarin lacked adequate safety warnings about the increased risks for developing breast cancer.

Wyeth had asked the high court to dismiss that jury award and to block a second trial that is to be limited to deciding punitive damages. A federal appeals court in St. Louis has ordered that separate rehearing, amid questions about the testimony of a former Food and Drug Administration official who testified on Scroggin's behalf in the original trial.


Depending on the outcome of the punitive damages portion of the case, Pfizer could appeal again to the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts backed out of consideration of the current appeal because he owns Pfizer stock.

The case is Wyeth LLC v. Scroggin (09-1123).


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Slick William

    Hmmm, that is about $962,500 for the lawyers fees, this case will open the door for anybody and everybody and what happens, insurance goes up, pharmaceuticals go up and who pays the tab? The American public does in everything they buy, still want to gripe about the necessity for tort law reform?? Where is the Food and Drug Administrations culpability in all this, Oh that's right they like ALL Government bureaucracies have sovereign immunity from any and all liability....

    Those pesky business people, it is all their fault!

    June 21, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Naqib

    Sue them... sue them all... sue them daily...

    Maybe we can put a stop to the manufacture of medications... and it's evil plot to destroy the world... LONG LIVE THE LAWYERS!!!

    June 21, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Slick William: Lynda/Minnesota June 21st, 2010 10:37 am ET

    That is NO quick fix was obvious from the beginning. For whatever reason big oil companies evidently assumed a catastrophe of this nature would never happen.

    It has.

    Rather easy to blame Obama. Keeps the focus of the public directed away from the need for regulatory control.
    ___________

    Gee Linda, I thought that is exactly what has failed, government regulation and the oversight of offshore drilling... Ever think that the people that are ticked off are not espousing deregulation but are in fact mad at having ineffective layering of regulatory bureaucracy by lawyers that do nothing to enforce existing regulation and simply legislate for more. I don't think you would find one American citizen that would not agree that every industry needs effective common sense regulatory control, the problem is the government continually fails to provide it and the people driving the bus are incapable of understanding anything about how our Nation and Society function beyond what some law book taught them at some liberal zoo. Make no mistake, this is an apocalyptic environmental disaster that will evidence itself in our Nation for the next 20 years minimum!
    ________________________

    Slick William, while public attention focuses on how many golf games Obama has played, rather than why the disaster occurred, there are NO OTHER conversations being held - common sense or otherwise.

    I assume this is intentional.

    June 21, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My mother died of breast cancer. I am one of many that sincerely believes that the MONEY is in the so-called treatment of this and other diseases, NOT the cure.

    The pharmaceutical companies represent some of the biggest lobbyists in our gov't, right alongside the oil, tabacco, and gun companies and associations. It is indecent that not only are they AGAINST promoting CURES for certain illnesses because of profitability, but evidently they can't wait for you to fall ill due natural causes. They are now pushing you along...

    June 21, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. ggg

    All drugs have a combination of good effects and bad side effects. If we understand them and disclose the risks and use the drugs we shouldn't be able to sue for a known risk. too many lawyers!

    June 21, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Lynda/Minnesota June 21st, 2010 10:37 am ET

    That is NO quick fix was obvious from the beginning. For whatever reason big oil companies evidently assumed a catastrophe of this nature would never happen.

    It has.

    Rather easy to blame Obama. Keeps the focus of the public directed away from the need for regulatory control.
    ___________

    Gee Linda, I thought that is exactly what has failed, government regulation and the oversight of offshore drilling... Ever think that the people that are ticked off are not espousing deregulation but are in fact mad at having ineffective layering of regulatory bureaucracy by lawyers that do nothing to enforce existing regulation and simply legislate for more. I don't think you would find one American citizen that would not agree that every industry needs effective common sense regulatory control, the problem is the government continually fails to provide it and the people driving the bus are incapable of understanding anything about how our Nation and Society function beyond what some law book taught them at some liberal zoo. Make no mistake, this is an apocalyptic environmental disaster that will evidence itself in our Nation for the next 20 years minimum!
    _________________________________

    Slick William, while the country is directed to focus on how many games of golf Obama plays, there is NO OTHER CONVERSATION – common sense or other wise.

    I assume this is intentional.

    This apocalypic environmental disaster is occurring regardless of Obama's golf outings, courtesy of BP AND the ALL the previous administrations which chose to allow industry insiders to regulate the oil industry, or not as the case might be.

    To think that somehow Obama isn't aware of or has no concern about the damage being done to our gulf is stupid at best.

    June 21, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |