Summer is over and the U.S. Supreme Court will be getting back to work soon. And there are some pretty important cases coming up.
Until recently, the right to a civil jury trial has been a historic protection for consumers. People hurt by a defective product could sue and ask a jury to award them damages. But the high court has been increasingly skeptical of lawsuits and civil juries. A series of recent rulings has limited lawsuits against businesses, but the biggest test will come before the court on the day before the presidential election.
And this is one case we will be keeping our eyes on. It is a case brought by a Vermont woman who sued a drug maker after anti-nausea medication was improperly injected into her arm resulting in the arm's amputation. A Vermont jury awarded the woman $6.7 million, but the drug company has been fighting for complete immunity from this lawsuit because the drug had been approved by the FDA.
Yet we know that FDA approval alone does not always guarantee that the drug is safe and effective. The FDA occasionally needs to recall a defective drug or device after people are injured or killed. Just recently the FDA began posting a list of drugs under investigation for potential safety problems. And lawsuits are a terrific way for the public to gain access to information about the drugs their doctors prescribe to them.
More on this to come.