Supreme Court sets high bar for medical device lawsuits

Legal Compliance

The tiny balloon was supposed to stretch open a blocked artery on Charles Riegel's diseased heart. Instead, when the doctor inflated the balloon, it burst.

The patient went on life support but survived. His lawsuit against the manufacturer of that arterial balloon did not.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Medtronic, among the world's largest makers of medical devices, setting a precedent that has killed lawsuits involving some of the most sophisticated devices on the market.

The device that harmed Riegel had cleared the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's most rigorous review, known as "pre-market approval." To reach consumers, Medtronic provided regulators with documentation that the Evergreen Balloon Catheter would be safe and effective.

In Riegel v. Medtronic Inc., the justices grappled with whether Medtronic had any liability. They ruled that devices that have received pre-market approval are effectively immune from product liability lawsuits in state courts, where juries can award huge sums. The reasoning: Congress wrote that states couldn't add safety requirements beyond what the FDA imposes.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in 2008, rare is the case when a manufacturer must pay suffering, lost wages and other compensation to patients who claim they were injured by a pre-market approved device. Patients who believe they've been harmed can still sue device makers in federal court.

Related listings

  • European court orders Turkey to free ex-Kurdish party leader

    European court orders Turkey to free ex-Kurdish party leader

    Legal Compliance 11/20/2018

    The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday called on Turkey to release the former head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition from detention. Turkey's president responded by claiming his country was not bound by the court's rulings.In its ruling on Tu...

  • Trump visit stirs debate; massacre defendant in court

    Trump visit stirs debate; massacre defendant in court

    Legal Compliance 10/29/2018

    The man charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was brought into court in a wheelchair Monday, as some members of the Jewish community and others objected to President Donald Trump’s plans to visit, accusing him of contributing to a toxic ...

  • Poland: Top court judges return from forced retirements

    Poland: Top court judges return from forced retirements

    Legal Compliance 10/22/2018

    Several Supreme Court judges in Poland have returned from government-imposed retirements after the European Union's top court ordered their reinstatements.Dozens of supporters greeted the six judges as they headed into the Supreme Court building on M...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.