PREEMPTIOn (which means you cannot sue a medical device company, because Federal law may prevent it)

On Wednesday, May 14th, victims of faulty medical devices and dangerous drugs will finally receive a voice in Congress. As you may recall, this past February the Supreme Court held that state tort claims regarding medical devices were preempted if the Food and Drug Administration had granted premarket approval for a medical device.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing this week to explore this issue. Detailed information is listed below, and the committee should offer live streaming video of the hearing on their website.

Should FDA Drug and Medical Device Regulation Bar State Liability Claims?
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 10:00 AM at 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses: Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly, parents of newborn twins, Thomas Boone Quaid and Zoe Grace Quaid, who were victims of a heparin overdose; William Maisel, director of the Medical Device Safety Institute, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; Aaron Kesselheim of the Harvard Medical School’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology; David Kessler, professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; David Vladeck, professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center; Gregory Curfman, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine; Christine Ruther, president and chief engineer for C&R Engineering, Inc.; and Utah State Representative David Clark (R) of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It is a unique and important debate. Afterall, if you experienced great pain and suffering because of a mistake, would you be satisfied that the device “was FDA approved?” Not me – not when the FDA has approved many drugs that cause problems everyday!

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Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at