Venable’s Los Angeles Office Secures Preemption Victory in California Medical Device Consumer Class Action at the Ninth Circuit


In a ruling issued on September 28, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that federal law preempted California consumer class action claims against the manufacturer of a contact lens cleaning solution because those claims would have required the manufacturer to conduct premarket testing beyond that required by the FDA. Degelmann v. Advanced Medical Optics, Inc., __ F.3d. __, 2011 WL 4470641 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2011).

The defendant in Degelmann had marketed its contact lens solution as an effective contact lens disinfectant. Id. at *1. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant’s solution was less effective than other solutions at disinfecting lenses from one specific type of microorganism, Acanthamoeba, and therefore labeling the product as a “disinfectant” violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law. Id.

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