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U.S. Supreme Court

Wyeth Buyout Could Spur Justice’s Recusal in Pre-emption Case

Posted Feb 10, 2009 2:18 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Will Pfizer Inc.’s acquisition of Wyeth affect a pending pre-emption case before the U.S. Supreme Court?

Legal Times asks the question. At issue in the case, Wyeth v. Levine, is whether pharmaceutical companies are protected from suits alleging failure to give adequate warnings because their drug labels receive federal approval.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. owns Pfizer stock and has recused himself in prior cases involving the company, according to the Legal Times story. But the takeover won’t be complete until July 31—and the Supreme Court should issue an opinion in the Wyeth case before that.

The case “will be an interesting test of whether news of an acquisition—even before it occurs—will affect justices' recusal practices,” Legal Times says.

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