The Blog of Legal Times today includes the following story:
Conservative lawmakers are organizing in a more formal way to promote an array of changes to the civil justice system, including proposals related to medical malpractice reform, venue and federal pleading standards.
Well, it’s about time. We’re tired of having to report about such lunacy as abolishing the learned intermediary rule (actually just reintroduced with zero co-sponsors), abolishing medical device preemption, or reverting to pre-TwIqbal pleading standards. We’d much rather report on legislation we actually like.
We’ve got a lot of pet peeves, but one that’s at the forefront right now – and something as to which federal legislation would be particularly appropriate – is punitive damages. Specifically, we’d like to see legislation that compliance with federal regulatory standards (to us, that’s mostly the FDA, but there are a lot of other federal regulations that would also qualify) should preclude any state-law-based award of punitive damages. Compliance, of course, should be as determined by the affected agency and not in state litigation.
We don’t even think that’s “conservative.” Since most of these regulatory standards were enacted in legislation supported by “liberals,” liberals ought to support additional incentives for compliance with such standards. There’s no reason that “liberal” has to be synonymous with “tort-stupid.”
But in any event, think big, guys. We over here at DDLaw are rooting for you on this.