Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on tort reform in Georgia

About a month ago, I posted a couple of notes on the proposed tort reform plan in Georgia. Today the has posted a short comment on this. It states, in part (the links are in the original): "Senate Bill 101 introduced last week and endorsed by Governor Sonny Purdue would "limit liability for certain drug and medical device manufacturers and sellers." Which is merely a nice way of saying that a company that markets an unsafe drug or device should be given complete immunity for causing deaths or injuries, as long as the FDA approved the product. This law supposes that the FDA is both capable and willing to ensure the safety of all products it regulates – which many including those within the FDA itself doubt. Ah, peanuts anyone? "Regardless we have seen time and time again how lawsuits have dissuaded companies from continuing to market an unsafe product. And lawsuits have also had a tremendously beneficial role spurring medical research and alerting the public – and ultimately pressuring regulators – to act on larger health risks and problems. "Unlike what its supporters assume, this legislation would do nothing to create biotechnology jobs in the state. Michigan, the only state in the nation that has such immunity for its pharmaceutical industry have seen thousands of these high-paying jobs leave their state since Governor Engler signed the bill into law in 1995. (See the CJ&D report A Tragic Blunder: Michigan's Drug Industry Immunity Law to learn more about Michigan's unprecedented law that prevents its residents harmed by dangerous drugs from gaining access to the civil justice system.)" The full comment is available here.

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