Is the Preemption Party About Over?

Posted on October 20, 2008 04:02 by J. David Prince

On the first Monday of October, at 9:00 a.m. in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court, the court heard arguments in Altria Group v. Good, No. 07-562.  The issue in this first case argued in the new term is whether a suit brought by a group of three smokers alleging false advertising claims with respect to “light” cigarettes is preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1331, et seq.  The Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled last summer that the suit was not preempted, Good v. Altria Group, 501 F.3d 29 (1st Cir. 2007).  However, a review of the transcript of the arguments indicates to me that the majority of the justices will agree that the plaintiff’s claims are preempted by federal law [View Transcript].  If that proves true, the result will be yet another defense victory founded upon the preemption doctrine, a doctrine that defendants have used with great success over the last several years.  But is the trend toward preemption about to change, making life a little harder for product liability defense lawyers?

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Categories: Product Liability | Supreme Court

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