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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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Reactions to Wyeth v. Levine

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A USA Today editorial opined that the Wyeth v. Levine decision opened a new door for plaintiff’s rights. During the Bush administration manufacturers were able to avoid lawsuits for defective products as long as the product met federal regulations. The Wyeth decision, however, opens the door for plaintiffs to sue manufacturers despite compliance with federal standards. The editorial argues that the courts will have to strike a balance to protect the interests of both consumers and companies. "States should allow suits but set a high burden of proof on the plaintiffs."

Bert Rein’s article in USA Today sets forth an opposing view. He argues that the decision actually creates uncertainty for patients and doctors. He emphasizes that the FDA was created because decisions regarding the risks and benefits of prescription drugs and medical devices should be left up to the experts. Allowing a jury to make these decisions based on an isolated catastrophic event places the interests of one individual over the health interests of the public as a whole.