"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can Something Bad Happen and It's Nobody's Fault?

Not in America, it seems. You can always sue somebody, right?

But Riegel v. Medtronic is creating quite a stir in the legal industry.

Basically, the Supreme Court decided just the other day that those huge medical-device product liability suits cannot proceed if the FDA pre-approved the medical device.

In short, what we're seeing here is that the federal government, via what's commonly called the Interstate Commerce Clause [that's in the Constitution, for those who came in late], can short-circuit state laws and state lawsuits against corporations that do business nationally.

The interesting thing is that the decision was 7-1, Justice Breyer mugwumping and only Justice Ginsburg dissenting, on grounds that states have compelling interests, etc., etc.

Now, I'm a Fred Thompson federalist---power devolved to the states---but it seems that the ICC is totally applicable here, and the best thing is that it's not another chafing, apparently partisan-ideological 5-4 decision.


Even the Supreme Court can largely agree on what the Constitution means every once in awhile. Thank God and may He continue to bless This Here Republic.


Next up: lawsuits on pharmaceuticals---Warner-Lambert v. Kent, and more here. The powerful plaintiff's bar---which at the top levels makes far more money than those grunts who defend corporations---is in quite a tizzy, running out of people to sue.

A fair reading of the constitution beats even "tort reform" anyday.

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1 comment:

Hunter Baker said...

Wow, that's a big step forward in reducing the cost of medicine and the practice thereof.