Paraplegic's Medtronic Suit Preempted, Split 9th Circ. Rules

Law360, New York (April 17, 2012, 4:33 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Monday said a paralyzed man’s lawsuit against Medtronic Inc. is preempted by federal oversight of high-risk medical devices, a conclusion that a dissent blasted as a callous misreading of the law.

The case centered on a Medtronic “pain pump” that plaintiff Richard Stengel had implanted to provide infusions of medication into his spine for treatment of excruciating pain. Over time, the pump caused an inflammatory condition that left Stengel a paraplegic, according to his lawsuit.

The Ninth Circuit’s 2-1 ruling upheld a...
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