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Engineering and the law. The Supreme Court rules on medical device liability-or does it?

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1 Author(s)
E. P. Richards ; Sch. of Law, Missouri Univ., Kansas City, MI, USA

In previous articles the author has discussed the evolution of federal preemption for state products-liability claims against medical-device manufacturers. This is a controversial approach, and federal district and appeals courts have made opposing rulings on cases that are legally identical. Some courts have refused to allow any products-liability claims for devices, some have limited claims against only some devices, and some courts refused to limit claims in any cases. The United States Supreme Court has now reviewed this law to resolve the conflicts between the lower courts. The Court rendered its decision in Medtronic, Inc., v. Lora Lohr, 116 S.Ct. 2240, June 26, 1996. The Court did not find preemption in the case it reviewed, but neither did it clearly eliminate the chance of preemption in other cases. Ruling in a split decision, it assured that confusion will still reign

Published in:

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 1 )