Supreme Court Rules Drug Companies Exempt from Lawsuits in 5-4 Vote

Flickr - Prescription - District 1 - City of San JoseChristina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a 5 to 4 vote, the US Supreme Court has absolved pharmaceutical companies, and over 80 percent of all drugs prescribed in the US, of legal liability for a long list of ill deeds including fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death.

This decision happened as a response to a lower court’s ruling concerning a victim who took a pharmaceutical drug and had a severely adverse reaction that caused the patient to be completely disfigured when the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect. The side effect was known by the drug maker and yet, was not labeled. The lower court ruled that the drug maker would have to label all future drugs with this side effect but the Supreme Court left the corporations who make these drugs completely exempt from future lawsuits, and said the victim ‘had no legal grounds to sue.’

Karen Bartlett tried to sue Mutual Pharmaceutical Company after taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Sulindac due to a sore shoulder. It was this drug that caused ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’ just three weeks after taking the pharmaceutical. Her flesh began to peel off so badly it resembled a third degree burn.

How is it that pharmaceutical companies can continue to put people’s health in jeopardy in such atrocious ways without being culpable?

When Bartlett sued in a New Hampshire state court, including the fact that there was no warning about the possible flesh-eating side effect, she won the case and was awarded $21 million in damages. The FDA then went on to force both Mutual Pharma and Merck & Co. to include warnings on drug labels going forward, but nine years later, the Supreme Court has overturned that ruling. The higher court stated as reason for their verdict, ‘all generic drugs and their manufacturers [over 80% of all drugs prescribed in the US] are exempt from liability for side effects.’ The court has essentially given the FDA ultimate authority over pharmaceutical use in the US.

One critic, Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, as reported by Reuters, stated, “Today’s court decision provides a disincentive for generic makers of drugs to monitor safety of their products and to make sure that they have a surveillance system in place to detect adverse events that pose a threat to patients.”

I dare say this is not nearly a harsh enough criticism. Considering Big Pharma and Big Agriculture are being given carte blanche to determine what is good for people’s health and the FDA is bought and paid for by special interest groups, we should be more than ‘surveying’ the damage.  Here is an obvious listing of conflicts of interest when it comes to public health matters, and the incestuous relationship between Big Pharma/Big Agriculture corporations and the FDA:

  • Larry Combest (Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and former Attorney General John Ashcroft were the congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the last election (Source: Dairy Education Board)
  • Prior to being appointed to the Supreme CourtClarence Thomas (who put GW Bush into office) was a lawyer for Monsanto.
  • Anne Veneman was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation, and is now the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
  • Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors for Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals.
  • The governor of Wisconsin, and the U.S. Secretary of HealthTommy Thompson, received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto while running for his gubernatorial office.

“Agricultural biotechnology will find a supporter occupying the White House next year, regardless of which candidate wins the election in November.” – Monsanto In-house Newsletter, 2000

This Supreme Court ruling will effectively absolve Monsanto and all other companies, Syngenta, Merck, Dow, Bayer, etc. from any lawsuits that would hold them accountable for the damage they are doing to public health. We are all being poisoned with an endless loop of toxic foods which cause cancer, inflammation, reproductive issues, organ failure and more, and then ‘medicines’ that address the very issues caused by toxic food and a toxic environment. It’s a sick, tortuous plan. Unless we find a way to stop these corporate entities from controlling our governments, like India has with its recent refusal to patent Monsanto maize, we will have signed our own death certificates.

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.


This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • John Taylor

    This is reprehensible … a tragedy, to the 10th power.

  • Robert

    here is the problem, these drugs do not and few have ever healed anyone of anything, the drug companies do not wish to heal, there is no profit in healing, if there were
    they would provide us the cure for cancer, aids etc, look at Michael Jordan, he brought the cure for aids, he could afford it, we the average folk can not, therefore we die

  • As a result of these kinds of court decisions the public with have less faith in the government and their rulings. In addition, people will not have the trust in drugs that they once had to heal without harm. The truth can be found by searching on the alternative internet websites for folk medicine, natural choices, lifestyle recommendations, and integrative health choices in place of these drugs which are not labeled with full disclosure. The same goes for our foods that do not have GMO labeling. Blessings, Debby

  • Cathy

    Corruption within. No Value put on human life .Its all about GREED!

  • Tony

    What had this to do with monsanto .are you on drugs?

    • David

      Are you a complete fing moron dude? You dont think monsanto has stock in the drug companies and vice versa? They all are intertwined by virtue of the stock market. They all own stock in each others companies . Monsanto needs to be DESTROYED!!!! In any way possible! We need to take back OUR(We the sheeple) country! REVOLUTION!!!!!

    • John Taylor

      Tony, did you read the entire article? If not, here’s a snippet from it:

      Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors for [Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals].

      That right there should tell you something. That should answer your question.

  • Larry Peterson

    Please provide more facts. I cannot believe that the Supreme Court has sunk that low. I would also be interested in the Judges who voted for the companies,and those who voted against the people.

    • Brian

      Larry- What more facts do you need? Just look at the ruling, the Supreme Court has and will continue to sink that low. There is certainly precedent with the Citizens United case. We can no longer rely on our so called “judges” to make decisions based on logical fact-based evidence. I am in no way advocating some kind of revolution but there has got to be more of an reaction from the general public. If you start scratching beneath the surface you’ll find all the facts you can handle.

  • abinico warez

    Need more proof of the pervasive nature of corruption based in the pharma industry.

  • Ray.

    I remember a time when making a vow or promise, a firm handshake was all that was required. It was a matter of personal HONOR. There was a quaint notion of “doing the right thing”. Without casting aspersions on anyone in particular, now the notion of doing the opposite is gaining momentum – for gain. Compromising one’s ethics and integrity, assuming they have any, is the new standard of behavior. I fear our society is disintegrating beyond repair.

  • AMERICAN Citizen

    The supreme court has abandoned and abdicated its charter to the people…. It is MUTE. We the people will make judgment!…PERIOD!

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