Supreme decisions in Warner-Lambert, Boulware

Exactly one week after hearing oral arguments in the case, the Supreme Court was evenly split in Warner-Lambert Co. v. Kent today, meaning a products liability suit over the diabetes drug Rezulin has been revived.

In the brief decision the Court ruled that the decision of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, that the claim was not preempted by federal law giving the FDA regulatory authority, will stand. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., did not take part in the decision, likely because he owns stock in Pfizer, which merged with Warner-Lambert.

More here from Dow Jones.

In the second opinion of the day, the Court held that a distributee accused of criminal tax evasion may claim return-of-capital treatment without producing evidence that either he or the corporation intended a capital return when the distribution occurred in Boulware v. U.S.

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