Score one for the victims of corporate wrongdoing. In the ongoing fen-phen diet drug litigation, a federal appellate panel has ruled the victims of Wyeth’s flawed drug won’t be bound by a lower court's gag order that had prohibited the victims from telling juries the details of Wyeth’s conduct. As a result of the ruling, anyone who opted out of the class action settlement and is now proceeding to trial will be allowed to tell the jury about Wyeth’s allegedly bad behavior, as long as these details are relevant to the issues being tried.
Many of the remaining fen-phen cases are pending in state courts. Despite the disdain of tort reformers for the state court system, the federal appellate panel stated that “we are confident that the state courts . . . can and will capably manage [the] task” of making appropriate evidentiary rulings. The full decision can be found here (PDF).