The high court's 6-3 decision essentially upended moves by the Bush administration to protect drug makers from lawsuits as long as the product was FDA-approved.
Many watchers had predicted that the court would decide the other way, Zipursky said.
"It was a surprise in two respects," he said. People had believed "that whatever the court did, it would rule narrowly and, in fact, the decision is quite broad."
To learn more about the case, visit the U.S. Supreme Court.
SOURCES: Brian Wolfman, director, litigation group, Public Citizen, Washington, D.C.; Benjamin C. Zipursky, J.D., Ph.D., professor of law, Fordham Law School, New York City, and visiting professor, Harvard Law School, Boston; March 4, 2009, prepared statement, PhRMA; March 4, 2009, press conference, Diana Levine, Vermont