Supreme Court seeks White House opinion in Medtronic pain pump case

October 7, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

Supreme Court Justices considering whether to weigh in on a patient injury lawsuit against Medtronic ask the federal government for a 2nd opinion.

Supreme Court seeks White House opinion in Medtronic pain pump case

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) has had a lot of action in the courts today, with the Supreme Court sending a negligence lawsuit against the company up to the federal government for a 2nd opinion.

The Justices asked the White House to weigh in on a lawsuit that questions preemption laws for medical devices, which have shielded many companies by immunizing FDA-approved devices from patient complaints.

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The lawsuit, Medtronic v. Stengel, has gone circles in the court system for years, with the latest coming to the attention of the Supreme Court after an appeals court ruled that preemption laws don't protect Medtronic from negligence claims.

Preemption holds that patients can't sue medical device makers in state courts over products that went through the FDA's most stringent review process, called pre-market approval. But the justices left open a loophole to allow state suits that allege a "parallel claim" that the company in question broke FDA regulations.

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