The US Supreme Court will take up a case filed by alleged victims of the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol seeking a class-action suit, after the drug was taken off the market in 2001 by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer.
Baycol went on the US market in 1997 and was blamed for the deaths of 31 Americans four years later due to side effects including fatal muscle toxicity leading to kidney failure.
Several cases lodged over the drug, also known by its chemical name cerivastatin, were put together in a federal court in Minnesota but in the case delivered to the high court the plaintiffs were from West Virginia.
Bayer, however, argues that their class-action suit cannot proceed because the judge in charge of cases in Minnesota banned such suits, also sought by West Virginia plaintiffs, back in August 2005.
The nine Supreme Court justices will review the case in early 2011 and rule by June at the latest.