“Jackpot Justice Gets New Meaning”

Ted Frank has an entertaining and disturbing column in the Washington Examiner about how a compulsive gambler blamed his medication for his irresponsibility.  A jury not only believed him, it awarded him more than $8 million dollars, most of it punitive damages!  As Frank notes, the jury’s verdict gives new meaning to the term “jackpot justice.”  Drug-makers want the Supreme Court to preempt such lawsuits when the drug has been carefully vetted and approved by the FDA, asking it to do so in the pending case of Wyeth v. Levine.  By contrast, liberal lawmakers like Henry Waxman support such lawsuits, claiming that preemption is just a tool to enrich business.