Vermont woman gains another victory against Wyeth

WASHINGTON A Vermont musician whose arm had to be amputated after she received an injection of a Wyeth anti-nausea drug, and received a nearly $7 million injury award, won in the Supreme Court Wednesday.

The court upheld the Vermont jury’s verdict, which awarded $6.7 million to guitarist and pianist Diana Levine after she received an IV push of the drug Phenergan (promethazine) that missed and hit her artery and caused her to develop gangrene. Wyeth appealed the decision, arguing that it could not be sued because Phenergan already had approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The Supreme Court’s decision marks Wyeth’s second major defeat in recent months. In November, the First District Court of Appeals of California ruled that Wyeth could be held liable for injuries resulting from generic versions of its drugs in the case of Conte v. Wyeth, in which a woman taking generic versions of the gastro-esophageal disease drug Reglan (metoclopramide) developed the neurological disorder tardive dyskinesia.

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