Riegel v. Medtronic: Congress to the Rescue?

Since the Supreme Court’s disaster in Riegel v. Medtronic, I have been hoping and expecting Congress would step in to fix the Supreme Court’s ruling, because it was clear from the amicus briefs submitted in Riegel, from history and from common sense, that Congress did not intend to preclude medical device tort claims. Yesterday, California Congressmen Henry Waxman and New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, along with 62 bipartisan supporters, introduced HR 6381, the Medical Device Safety Act. This bill would effectively undo the wrong the Riegel does to medical device victims. The Senate is expected to offer a similar bill next month.

As the Wolf said in Pulp Fiction, we can’t start congratulating ourselves yet (I’m paraphrasing). This bill has not even made it out of a committee yet. But at least something is happening.

  • Ron-
    I am also hopeful that Congress will legislate this decision away. I thought it was interesting that an Article in the New England Journal of Medicine supports the proposed legislation.

    Even the medical community is fearful of what Big Pharma will do when they can act without legal repercussions. The link to the article is below:


  • bart hobbs

    my wifes insulin infusion sets were recalled by medtronic july 7 its ashame she died may 1 due to high blood sugar caused
    by defective infusion sets and now my lawyer says we may not be able to sue thats just wrong

  • Willie L. Wilson

    I had the device put in my chest in May 2006. The lead fractuted in Aug. 2007, almost killing me and damaging my heart to the point having to undergo another 3 surgeries in Sept. and Oct.

    The reason there isn’t more support from Capital Hill on this bill is because most politians have taken funds from Metrontic. Check out their contribution funding. This is America. Even Obama is afraid to go against a company as big as Metronics. As for the High Court forget it. Money rules and these people will need big business consulting posts when they leave politics. They couldn’t care less if companies like Metronics killed off ten thousand people a year, as long as they get theirs, Its the American way.

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