Quoted from http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100621-706916.html
US Supreme Court Denies Wyeth Appeal In Hormone Therapy Case
JUNE 21, 2010, 10:27 A.M. ET
By Brent Kendall Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) Wyeth unit to obtain a full new trial on an Arkansas woman's claims that taking a combination of hormone-therapy drugs caused her to develop breast cancer.
The high court issued a short order that left in place a 2009 appeals court decision that said Wyeth was entitled to partial new trial proceedings to determine how much money it owed in punitive damages, but was not entitled to another chance to argue that it wasn't liable at all for the woman's injuries.
A federal jury in 2008 awarded Donna Scroggin $2.7 million in compensatory damages from Wyeth and another Pfizer unit, Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., the makers of hormone drugs that can be taken to treat symptoms of menopause. The jury also awarded Scroggin another $19 million from Wyeth and almost $8 million from Upjohn in punitive damages.
Scroggin, who took hormone drugs for 11 years before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, alleged that the drug makers failed to give adequate warnings that the hormone therapy drugs created an elevated risk of breast cancer.
On appeal, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis said the trial judge improperly allowed testimony from one of the plaintiff's experts during the punitive damages phase of the trial.
The appeals court, however, agreed that Wyeth could be held liable for punitive damages and it ordered a partial new trial on that issue. The appeals court said Upjohn was not liable for punitive damages.
In Wyeth's petition to the Supreme Court, the drug maker said the lower court violated constitutional protections by allowing a new jury to consider only the punitive damages questions without also considering all the other issues in the case.
The Supreme Court denied the petition without comment. The case is Wyeth v. Scroggin, 09-1123.