This morning, the Supreme Court just handed down its opinion in Wyeth v. Levine, ___ U.S. ___ (Mar. 4, 2009). The Court held, by a vote of 6 to 3, that the FDA's approval of the defendant's labeling of its
medical device prescription drug did not preempt plaintiffs' state law product liability (failure to warn) claim. This decision is generally viewed as a companion to Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 538 (Dec. 16, 2008) (discussed in this blog post), in which the Court held that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. §§1331 et seq.) did not preempt a state-law claim for deceptive advertising of light cigarettes.
The New York Times has more on the Wyeth decision in this article.
CORRECTION: I wrote my post above a little too hurriedly. I should have said that the Wyeth case is considered a companion to Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 128 S. Ct. 999 (2008), in which the Supreme Court held that state-law product liability claims for FDA-approved medical devices were preempted. With Altria and Wyeth, perhaps the preemption tide is turning.