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(Abstracted from The Wall Street Journal)

22 February 2001

Supreme Court limits plaintiff suits on defrauding FDA - case argued by Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP's Kenneth Geller
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP

In Buckman Company v. Plaintiffs' Legal Committee, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, ruled that federal law preempts state-law tort claims alleging fraud on the Food and Drug Administration.

The Wall Street Journal noted that under the decision "only the Food and Drug Administration - not individuals - can sue companies that allegedly defrauded the government to get a medical device approved." Quoting from the decision, the newspaper explained that "The FDA is empowered to investigate suspected fraud," and the agency has a variety of measured enforcement options available to it.

The Journal noted "Kenneth Geller, an attorney with Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP who represented Buckman, applauded the decision. He said it 'would apply to any federal agency where plaintiffs claim the agency was defrauded.'"

Kenneth Geller (DC) argued the case. Alan Untereiner and Sharon Swingle (DC) assisted on the briefs.


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