Defective products harm people throughout Massachusetts on a daily basis. Thus, many people file product liability lawsuits throughout the State to attempt to hold the companies that sell dangerous products accountable. In many instances, such lawsuits involve claims that assert violations of both state and federal law. In a recent opinion, a Massachusetts court discussed the pleading standards imposed on a plaintiff asserting state law claims that are similar to violations of federal law in a matter in which the plaintiff was injured due to a defective medical device. If you were hurt due to a faulty product, you may be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is reported that the plaintiff took a supplement that was developed and sold by the defendant. She subsequently suffered severe side effects, after which she filed a lawsuit against the defendant. In her complaint, she asserted claims of negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and product liability. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing they were pre-empted by federal law. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed, which ultimately resulted in a reversal of the trial court ruling on different grounds than those asserted by the defendant.
Pleading Standards in Federal Cases Asserting State Law Claims
The appellate court held that in matters involving products regulated by the FDA, federal law does not preempt state law claims as long as they parallel federal requirements instead of supplementing them. The court further explained, therefore, that in such circumstances, a plaintiff does not need to allege the exact defect in the device or set forth the specific federal regulation that was allegedly violated in order for a claim to survive. Continue reading →