Friday, January 18, 2008
The Supreme Court today granted cert in two preemption cases that will have significance for mass tort litigation. In Wyeth v. Levine, No. 06-1249, the Court will decide whether the FDA's prescription drug labeling judgments preempt state law liability claims for failure to warn. In a case involving Wyeth's anti-nausea drug Phenergan, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that the FDA regs only provide a floor on labeling requirements, so states are free to enforce their own. In Itria Group v. Good, No. 07-562, the Court is asked to decide whether federal law preempts state-law challenges to FTC-authorized statements in cigarette advertising about "light" or "low tar" cigarettes.
You can see brief descriptions of these cases on ScotusBlog. I'm sure more will follow from the defense perspective on the Drug and Device Law blog. Public Citizen is a good resource for the consumer's perspective on this issue.