Friday, November 21, 2008

More on Obama's election and tort law

Professor Anthony Sebok (Cardozo School of Law) writes a very good column for on Torts issues. His most recent is about the likely effect of the Obama administration on Tort law. Sebok points out that while in the Illinois state legislature, Obama voted in favor of caps on non-economic damages (such as pain-and-suffering damages) in medical malpractice cases and co-authored an article with Hilary Clinton recommending an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for medical malpractice claims. Thus Sebok predicts that "Obama will not instinctively defend the civil justice system, and that he may even be open to experimentation that limits the right to sue, especially in the context of medical malpractice claims." Ultimately, however, the real question is not what Obama will want to do with the civil justice system, but what Congress will want to do with it. Sebok believes the Senate may want to pass some pro-plaintiff legislation in the area of federal preemption of state pharmaceutical cases if the Supreme Court decides to expand the scope of implicit preemption involving drugs approved by the FDA. See the full column here. Also see Sebok's comments on Wyeth v. Levine here and here.

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