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November 4, 2008 9:43 AM

Wyeth v. Levine: An Actual Toss-up?

Posted by Zach Lowe

With oral arguments in Wyeth v. Levine out of the way, reporters and Supreme Court experts have started handicapping how the justices will rule in the case of a woman who had most of her right arm amputated after a doctor's aide made a catastrophic mistake injecting a prescription anti-nausea drug.

As we've covered extensively, businesses and consumer groups consider Wyeth a landmark case that will decide whether drug companies are essentially immune from lawsuits if the FDA approves the warning labels on their drugs.

Tony Mauro, the lead SCOTUS reporter at sibling publication Legal Times, attended the argument yesterday and thinks the court could go either way. It's perhaps unsurprising that two of the court's liberal justices, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seemed to lean toward the plaintiff in their intense questioning of Wyeth's lead attorney, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr's Seth Waxman.

It's also not a shock that Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to side with Wyeth. But Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., another reliable conservative on the case, seemed torn, Mauro reports.

Mauro's story has nice details on the argument and the full background on the case.

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