MSNBC Takes on Federal Medical Device Preemption

Federal preemption of state laws is a dry subject. It puts lawyers and law students asleep.

However, the consequences of preemption can be both real and significant.

The Supreme Court recently in Riegel v. Medtronic decided that a state tort injury actions for defective medical devices are barred when the FDA grants the device premarket approval through the federal Medical Devices Act.

With such a technical ruling, the national media has largely ignored the far-reaching significance of this ruling. However, MSNBC’s Keith Olberman recently took on the federal preemption issue in Riegel–and took the opportunity to bash Bush (shocker!)–in his usual one-sided presentation of facts.

Like Ronald Miller of the Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog, who drew our attention to the video, I’m not a big fan of Olberman. In fact, I’d probably agree to any derogatory term used to describe him and he hasn’t been funny or clever since his time on ESPN. But he deserves some credit for taking notice of this ruling.

Pipeline Breaks Present Health, Injury Hazards in California and Other States

Sixteen spills from oil pipelines have leaked a combined 2.4 million gallons of crude oil into waterways in California and other states in recent years, posing health and injury risks to pipeline workers and residents in the areas, according to an article from The Associated Press. The San Diego injury attorneys follow such cases closely because the injury risks associated with them can be long-reaching and long-lasting.

Since 1993, regulators have paid careful attention to pipeline spills in multiple states, including California. One particular source of concern comes from pipelines that are buried under navigable waterways, like rivers and streams. These pipelines are required to be buried only four feet under the waterway and are required to be inspected for weaknesses only once every five years. If a pipeline near water breaks, leaking oil and other materials can easily contaminate drinking water supplies, posing serious health hazards for those in the area.