The Real Life Consequences of Complete Immunity Preemption

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The Real Life Consequences of Complete Immunity Preemption  

Diana Levine

Diana LevineDiana Winn Levine, a professional musician and children’s record producer from Marshfield, Vermont, went to the hospital to treat a migraine headache and, after being injected with a drug manufactured by Wyeth, left with injuries that led quickly and irreversibly to the loss of her right arm. Specifically, Ms. Levine’s arm was amputated because Wyeth’s drug Phenergan, prescribed to alleviate nausea associated with a migraine headache, reached Ms. Levine’s arteries. Wyeth knew that arterial contact caused the exact injuries Ms. Levine sustained. Phenergan was given to Ms. Levine using a method of administration that was permissible under Wyeth’s label instructions, even though Wyeth knew this method increased risk of contact with Ms. Levine’s arteries and serious injuries. The Vermont Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ms. Levine. Wyeth appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted certiorari Jan. 18, 2008. Oral Arguments will begin on November 3, 2008.





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