Kia Franklin

LA Times Article on Medtronic Case Gets it Right

This LA Times article, High court may bar claims for FDA-approved drugs, does a pretty solid job at articulating the civil justice angle for these preemption cases.

According to the article, the Supreme Court's decision in the Medtronic case (covered here and here on TortDeform, and here on PAL blog) could affect tens of thousands of Americans' claims against manufacturers of other medical devices and drugs that were harmful to the public. And with mounting evidence that the FDA is sorely under-equipped to protect the public from these dangers:

...A ruling for Medtronic would "take away the last possible safety net against unfettered corporate misbehavior and negligence," said Karen Barth Menzies, a Newport Beach lawyer who has represented plaintiffs in cases against drug makers.

Menzies sees these "preemption" cases as a new battlefront in the tort-reform wars in the wake of limits imposed by Congress and state legislatures in recent years on class actions and medical malpractice claims.

If we can't trust the FDA to regulate, and can't trust the manufacturers to properly test and label, then how can we trust that the medicine we're taking or medical devices we're using are doing more good than harm? Without the accountability provided through the civil justice system, companies can gamble with lives and score big on profits, regardless of the health consequences for the patients who make those profits possible. And industry insiders-turned-agency officials facilitate this process for their cronies by remaining lax on regulation. Certainly a case to keep following.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 05, 2007 in
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You must trust the FDA and the government to regulate. Use of the civil (in)justice sytem to regulate commerce is vigilante justice a/k/a mob rule and a totally illegitimate use of the courts

If you think the government stinks elect someone else, preferably the libertarians

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | December 11, 2007 4:47 PM

Actually I must continue to wonder how I can trust the FDA and government to regulate when they aren't actually doing it and could care less about starting to do it. That's what I must do.

Question: once we elect those "someone elses" to fix the regs problem, what good does that do if our new electeds aren't able to enact regulations that protect people? It's precisely because government agencies like the FDA work hard to preempt legislatively enacted protections (regulatory and compensatory) that we need to focus on the civil justice system. If the regulators and the corporate dudes are working in cahoots, then who cares who gets elected? It'll be the same old shennanigans.

Posted by: Kia | December 20, 2007 6:47 PM