Utah Preemption Split Deepens

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We've blogged before about the split among Utah courts about whether Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001), preempts the fraud on the FDA exception to Utah's statutory bar (Utah Code Ann. §78B-8-203) against punitive damages where the product complies with FDA standards.

The first case, Grange v. Mylan Laboratories, 2008 WL 4813311 (D. Utah Oct. 31, 2008), got it right. Buckman's rationale extends to any state-law assertion of fraud on the FDA that could bring about submission to the FDA of unnecessary and unwanted information due to fear of later tort liability.

Indeed, since punitive damages can (and often do) exceed compensatory damages in their amounts, allowing punitive damages based on fraud on the FDA is even more likely to bring about the prophylactic conduct that Buckman decried than the claim in Buckman itself - particularly since punitive damages are frankly intended to "deter" the conduct they punish - and thus create precisely what Buckman held was unacceptable.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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