WASHINGTON – First Karen Bartlett lost more than 60% of her skin, suffered lung and esophageal damage and became legally blind after taking a generic painkiller. Now the Supreme Court has stripped her of a $21 million state court award.
In another example of its well-documented pro-business tilt, the high court ruled Monday that the generic drug maker wasn’t liable for the painkiller’s content or warning label because it must mimic the brand-name drug in both instances.
Not that the justices didn’t sympathize with Bartlett’s plight. The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said the case “arises out of tragic circumstances” and spread blame at the feet of doctors, Congress and the Food and Drug Administration.