Massachusetts Court Discusses Pleading Requirements in Federal Cases With State Law Claims

Every day, people in Massachusetts are harmed by defective products. As a result, numerous people around the state file product liability cases in an attempt to hold parties who sell unsafe items accountable. In many cases, such lawsuits allege that both state and federal laws have been broken. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed the pleading criteria imposed on a plaintiff asserting state law claims that are comparable to federal law violations. The issue was discussed in a ruling issued in a case where the plaintiff was injured because of defective medical equipment. If you were injured as a result of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your options.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff is said to have taken a supplement created and sold by the defendant. She then experienced serious negative effects, prompting her to initiate a lawsuit against the defendant. She claimed negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and product liability in her complaint. The defendant attempted to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, claiming that federal law preempted them. The request was denied by the trial court, and the defendant appealed, resulting in a reversal of the trial court’s decision on reasons other than those alleged by the defendant.

Pleading Requirements in Federal Cases With State Law Claims

In cases involving FDA-regulated items, the appeal court concluded that state law claims are not preempted by federal law as long as they parallel rather than complement federal requirements. The court went on to say that in such cases, a plaintiff does not have to establish the particular flaw in the device or the specific federal regulation that was allegedly broken in order for a claim to be successful.

In other words, there is no heightened pleading standard, and a plaintiff is not required to plead with more clarity than Massachusetts law requires. As a result, because all of the plaintiff’s claims met the federal criteria, the plaintiff only needed to plead facts sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under state law in the matter at hand. The plaintiff, however, failed to assert circumstances that would allow her to recover from the defendant under Massachusetts law, according to the court. She specifically failed to include in her complaint facts that, if found true, would show that the defendant’s product caused her asserted harm. As a result, the defendant’s request to dismiss was granted.

Speak with a Practiced Massachusetts Attorney

Companies that manufacture items that cause unjustified injury should be held accountable, and anyone who has been hurt by a defective device should contact an attorney as quickly as possible. If you were injured by a harmful medical device, the practiced Massachusetts attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III can assist you in gathering the facts necessary to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. You can reach us through our form online or at 888-262-6664 to set up a conference.



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