Main Question or Discussion Point
The long promised tort reform is being slipped in quietly and not in a manner anyone had imagined.
It beats me exactly how this is supposed to work.Faced with an unfriendly Congress, the Bush administration has found another, quieter way to make it more difficult for consumers to sue businesses over faulty products. It's rewriting the bureaucratic rulebook.
Lawsuit limits have been included in 51 rules proposed or adopted since 2005 by agency bureaucrats governing just about everything Americans use: drugs, cars, railroads, medical devices and food.
Rooted in the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal preemption refers to circumstances in which federal law and regulation trump state law, in this instance state laws that govern when one person may be held liable for another's injury.
In some instances, judges seem as exercised as consumer advocates about the FDA's undermining of lawsuits under state tort law.
In a recent decision, a federal appeals court judge wrote that the FDA has for over three-quarters of a century viewed state tort law as complementary to the agency's safety warnings on prescription drug packages and ''only for the last two years has it claimed otherwise.''
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