When Dennis Quaid went to Congress last year to testify about a threatening Supreme Court decision, it was hard to imagine the Supremes might actually listen to why consumers should able to sue drug companies over dangerous drugs when the FDA approved their labels. The Court had already ruled consumers could not sue medical device manufacturers if the FDA approved the products. Well, today the Supreme Court showed it heard Congress, which responded to Quaid’s testimony with a threat of legislation to overturn the FDA preemption doctrine if the Court did the wrong thing.
As the New York Times reports, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that consumers can still file state liability lawsuits against drug companies. It’s a huge victory for patients and a defeat for drug maker Wyeth, which argued that a Vermont woman could not sue it for injuries she suffered after receiving the company’s medicines because the FDA had approved the drug’s label.
Quaid testified about how his newborn twins were given a massive overdose — 1,000 times more than the appropriate child dose — because the medication bottles for children and adults were nearly identical. Other children had died from similar overdoses, but the bottles remained the same until Quaid’s kids were affected. You can watch the video of Dennis’s testimony at The Quaid Foundation’s web site: www.TheQuaidFoundation.org
Today’s ruling shows that a new President, a concerned Congress and a celebrity’s platform can change the direction of the Supreme Court. Justice for all won today, thanks to Quaid, Obama and the voters.