Right Now on Firedog Lake
Live Chatting with Diane Levine... take your questions to FiredogLake.Com (login required).
UPDATE: 3:44pm EST. I asked Diana Diana what she would say to proponents of implied preemption, who say that efforts like hers are just about helping plaintiffs lawyers. She said in response the following:
I never envisioned myself as someone who would sue. It’s certainly not about me getting a new Mercedes or house in Provence. It’s about holding a company who is at fault responsible, and inspiring them to change the label and prevent this from occurring again. I’m up here in Vermont with a country lawyer who is supremely ethical. There has to be a mechanism in place.
Nan Aron of Alliance For Justice also responded:
There are multiple groups beyond the “trial bar” that are interested in the outcome of Diana’s case. In fact, career professionals inside the FDA, including former FDA commissioner David Kessler, have spoken out against preemption. But, also, consumer and health and safety groups, the Journal of American Medicine, various states attorneys general and a host of other organizations are against this radical shift.
It's a good discussion going on over there. They're talking about the mechanics of the case, what happens after the Supreme Court issues a ruling, how the November 3rd arguments went, and what Diana's personal experience has been over the past ten years pursuing this claim.
Go check it out while they're still on!
UPDATE 3:50pm EST.
I asked Nan Aron of Alliance for Justice if he sees preemption reaching "kitchen table" status with the broader general public. Here's Nan's response:
This issue absolutely impacts millions of Americans. And, because of that it is inherently a “kitchen table” issue. Every person taking a prescription drug - from antibiotics to cholesterol medicine - has a stake in the outcome of this case.
If the case is decided against Diana, the solution will be to push for remedial legislation in Congress. Already both the House and the Senate have introduced legislation to this effect. And, we will continue to urge people to join this campaign and sign our petition at http://ga1.org/campaign/accessdenied.
FINAL UPDATE, 4:15pm EST. The conversation at FireDogLake was really informative. I hope some of you were able to join in, or at least read the comments. The discussion went in many directions but I think the most important thing I drew from it relates back to these words from Diana Levine. She wrote: "I know I’ll never get my arm back, but I hope the loss of limb doesn’t become loss of limb and liberty."
The consensus over there seemed to be that this issue isn't about being able to sue big companies. It's about being able to protect ourselves and other innocent people from harmful products that either should not be on the market or should be marketed in a way that advances the public's health and safety.
Christy Hardin Smith of FDL advocates for more public education and awareness-raising about this issue, which to date seems only to generate interest from legal nerds and consumer advocates who are already entrenched in these issues. Nan Aron points out that an increase in public awareness about preemption is necessary precisely because it can impact so many of us. Aron rights: "This issue absolutely impacts millions of Americans. And, because of that it is inherently a “kitchen table” issue. Every person taking a prescription drug - from antibiotics to cholesterol medicine - has a stake in the outcome of this case."
I'd be interested to hear what proponents of implied preemption have to say in response to the conversation over at FDL.
Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 3:04 PM, Nov 18, 2008 in Pharmaceuticals | Preemption | Product Liability | Right to Access the Courts | Supreme Court Rulings | Tort Victim Tragedies | Under-regulation
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