This is the bill introduced in the Senate last year to overturn Medtronic v. Riegel. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives about six months ago. If you look at the Senate bill, you will note that one of the cosponsors was the junior Senator from Illinois. Is President-elect Obama still with medical device victims?
In Bruce Springsteen’s song Jungleland, the police wrongfully shoot and kill the song’s hero. Yet his girlfriend just “sets out the bedroom light” and the “poets down here don’t write nothing at all.” Little did I know in high school that this song was going to relate to a mass tort medical device claim like the Medtronic defibrillator lead litigation.
Hundreds of thousands of people who have defective wires in their chests are barred from bringing a claim and Congress can step in and fix it. Yet when I go to Google News and search for “Medtronic Congress Bill” I get nothing, which means there is nothing current with these search terms. Where is the outrage and the demand for Congress to fix this? Can I get an editorial from someone other than me? Why is this not a larger media story?
Let’s set aside whether the allegations against Medtronic are true for a second. Let’s assume they are. Plaintiffs allege that Medtronic made a lead wire that was different from the one that went through the clinical trial process that was approved by the FDA. The wire is grossly untested and recalled. People are killed. Medtronic should have responded quicker to the information that was available and recalled the product sooner.
Yet even if all of that is true, Plaintiffs cannot bring a lawsuit because the FDA approved the product. It is utter insanity that public discourse on preemption in this case is nonexistent.