WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a class-action suit by alleged victims of the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol, which was taken off the market in 2001 by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer.


The US top court said in a unanimous decision that states were not allowed to ban any class-action suits for the drug, which 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 has argued that their class-action suit could not proceed because the judge in charge of cases in Minnesota banned such suits back in August 2005.