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Supreme Court Limits Lawsuits Over Medical Devices
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The Supreme Court today issued their decision in Riegel v. Medtronic, IncAt issue before the Court was whether the pre-emption clause in the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, 21 U. S. C. §360k, bars state law claims challenging the safety and effectiveness of a medical device approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The plaintiff in the case (who died while the case was still on appeal) had suffered serious injuries when a catheter manufactured by Medtronic burst during a medical procedure. In an 8-1 decision, the Court held that state lawsuits are barred to the extent they would impose requirements that are different from federal requirements. 

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