Monday, November 24, 2008

Big Pharma (and America): Meet Diane Levine

Recently I posted about the pharmaceutical industry's attempt to avoid legal responsibility for maiming and killing Americans by claiming in lawsuits that if The FDA approves a drug, it "pre-empts" state laws giving injured citizens the right to sue them, and therefore makes them 100% immune from any liability (See November 9, 2008 post, "Big Pharma, The FDA, And You: Guess Who Loses?"). In that post, I told the story of Diane Levine, a Vermont musician, who, in a twist of cruel irony, lost her right arm after being given an IV injection of the drug Phenergan (an anti-nausea drug) for a simple migrane.

Today I found a link to a video that introduces her, and explains her struggle. It captures more in 22 minutes than whatever I could with a simple blog post.

In the video, you won't find a bitter or angry person. And this is typical, in my experience with representing people who have been seriously or catastrophically injured. If I've found one maxim to be true over and over again, it's this: the people who are hurt the most typically complain the least, despite having every reason to complain alot. She is full of grace, insight, and a willingness to perservere in the face of a preventable tragedy.

America, meet Diane Levine. You can click on the title of this post to see her story. I hope her legal battle has a happy ending, but with this arch conservative U.S. Supreme Court, don't count on it. My uneducated prediction is that the U.S Supreme Court will rule in favor of the drug company, and the industry will now enjoy 100% immunity for ANY drug or medical device, even if either is horribly defective.

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