Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Presumption against preemption. There is a Supreme Court case, Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Comm., which held that state fraud-on-the FDA claims (claims alleging that companyies had fraudulently induced the FDA to approve their products, causing damage) were impliedly preempted by federal law. Michigan has a statute that narrows liability for companies making FDA-approved products. The law provides that if the device or drug is approved by the FDA, the company is immune from state law tort claims unless the company withheld or misrepersented information that would have altered the FDA's decision to approve the drug. The issue raised in Desiano v. Warner-Lambert & Co. was whether, under the rationale of Buckman, federal law also preempts traditional common law claism that survive a state's legislative narrowing of common law liability through a fraud exception to that statutory limitation. The Court, holding that there was a presumption against preemption, held that such a claim would not be precluded under Buckman.

The decision can be found here.

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