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Preemption in Drug and Medical Device Cases: An Overview and Hot Topics

Presented By: DRI's Young Lawyers Committee

Federal preemption is a key defense in drug and medical device product liability cases, and the FDA’s regulatory framework is the ever-present background factor for our clients and for litigation involving their products.  This webinar will provide a brief introduction to federal preemption, aimed at newer lawyers, before shifting to a robust discussion of strategically raising preemption defenses, and will conclude with a forecast of where federal preemption is headed, particularly given the impending changes to the FDA’s 510(k) clearance program.

Who Should Attend: 

  • Lawyers who are newer to drug and medical device litigation
  • Anyone looking for a refresher on federal preemption in this context
  • Attorneys looking for thoughts on the best time and way to raise the preemption defense
  • Practitioners interested in a discussion of the rapidly changing federal preemption landscape, the FDA’s changes to its 510(k) clearance program and the prospect of preemption in that context, and other hot topics in this fast-changing space. 

What Will You Learn?:

  • The basics of federal preemption in drug and medical device cases
  • How to strategically raise the defense in a variety of forums, stages of litigation, and fact patterns
  • What’s new on the horizon for federal preemption in drug and medical device litigation, including how changes to the FDA’s 510(k) clearance program could affect the preemption defense. 


Taryn W. Harper, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Taryn W. Harper is an associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, focusing her practice on products liability litigation, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. She has experience with products liability matters in both state and federal courts, including single plaintiff actions and mass tort actions involving a variety of products and medical issues. Taryn is co-editor of Raising the Bar, the newsletter of the DRI Young Lawyers Committee.

Erica A. Holzer, Maslon LLP

Erica A. Holzer is an associate at Maslon LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota, representing clients in complex commercial disputes primarily in the areas of tort and product liability, consumer fraud, business torts, and breach of contract actions.

Allison Ng, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Allison Ng is an is an associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, focusing her practice on commercial litigation and products liability litigation with an emphasis on pharmaceutical, medical devices, and other consumer products. She has experience litigating complex issues in state and federal courts involving mass torts, failure to warn, breach of warranties, trade secrets misappropriation, unfair trade practices, and insurer tortious bad faith.

Tom R. Pack, Maslon LLP

Tom R. Pack is an associate at Maslon LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he represents businesses in product liability matters and in other complex business litigation, with a focus on the drug and medical device industries.  Tom is co-vice-chair of the Young Lawyers Diversity Subcommittee.


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