The LA Times ran an article today, High court may bar claims for FDA-approved drugs, discussing two cases that are currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The cases address whether lawsuits that are based on on state common law claims alleging that patients were injured by dangerous drugs or medical devices are “preempted” by the FDA’s authority under federal law.

This seemingly-obscure but important legal fight will determine whether or not patients who are injured, killed or merely ripped off by illegal activities by drug and medical device companies are able to get compensation and relief in the Courts.

This is an issue we’ve written about here frequently on the PAL blog — see previous entries here.

PAL also signed on to an amicus curiae (“friend of the Court”) brief in the Riegel v. Medtronic case. The brief was written by Community Rights Counsel and can be found here.

Alison Zieve, from Public Citizen Litigation Group and counsel for the Riegels, had this to say about the preemption argument:

she said the preemption argument was more central to the case, calling it “essentially a get out of jail free card.”

If the court upholds Medtronic’s position, Zieve said, it means that “no matter who messed up, you can’t sue the company.