This is the time of year when our thoughts start migrating southward.  We can see all those birds’ nests in our suddenly denuded poplar trees.  The driveway is a skating rink of damp leaves.  The baseboards in our home now gurgle from the operation of an ancient oil heating system.

Over the last two weeks our posts leaned against a pair of intemperate blasts from a Vermont federal court.  The results were dreary and/or indecipherable.  Thus, it is with some relief that we bask in the warm glow of a nice, straightforward decision from the happiest place on Earth, the federal court in Orlando.  In Stanifer v. Corin USA Ltd, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158587 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 10, 2014), a hip resurfacing system was implanted into the body of the plaintiff during a right hip arthroplasty procedure.  Subsequent failure of the system allegedly caused the plaintiff to suffer a revision left total hip arthroplasty and surgical removal of the system.  The plaintiff filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to recover “damages and losses” from the defendants based on state law strict liability claims for breach of warranty, manufacturing defect,  and design defect.  After removal of the action to federal court, the defendants moved to dismiss the claims based on federal preemption.

The hip system was a class III device, and therefore subject to the PMA process and the attendant federal preemption.  After the Supreme Court’s decision in Reigel, a plaintiff injured due to use of a Class III PMA device can escape preemption only by asserting a “parallel” state law claim.   As readers of this blog likely know, we think of the parallel claim exception as something crazy and made-up, like a fairy tale or a Johnny Depp movie.  Luckily, the Stanifer case is governed by the law of the Eleventh Circuit, a place that knows how to deal with such things. The Stanifer court embraced Eleventh Circuit precedent to the effect that plaintiffs cannot effectively state a “parallel claim” absent allegations that the defendant violated a “particular federal specification.”  Ah – we are far from the windy incoherence of Vermont (or Chicago – the Bausch case still stands as the babbling zenith of parallel claim doofus-prudence).

Continue Reading Far from Dumbo: M.D. Fla. Gets “Parallel Claim” Case Right

Time travel is on our mind today.  We should hasten to add that it is not a topic that usually absorbs us – otherwise we might squander what little credibility we have with our serious-minded readers. But a trio of things prompted us to think about time-travel.  First, we will (soon, we promise) be discussing

Although trial court judges mostly get things right, every once in a while a trial court judge will issue an opinion that just plain stinks. We aren’t simply talking about any old decision in favor of a plaintiff suing a drug or device company. We recognize that some trial court decisions against our clients are

We had to comment on the most intriguing case of Hughes v. Boston Scientific Corp., 2009 WL 3817586 (S.D. Miss. Nov. 12, 2009). Hughes involved a PMA device, something called a “HydroTherm Ablator,” that allegedly malfunctioned and injured the plaintiff. Thereafter, the defendant (1) changed its adverse event reporting algorithm in response to FDA

Sometimes, we try to be encyclopedic in our blog posts. Sometimes, we try to be funny. (Yeah, yeah: “Try” is the operative word.) Today, we’re just being descriptive.

In Delaney v. Stryker Orthopedics, No. 08-03210 (DMC), 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16865 (D.N.J. Mar. 5, 2009), Delaney underwent hip replacement surgery with a hip prosthesis manufactured