In its November 2008 issue, the Harvard Law Review will publish "Preemption of State Common Law Claims," 122 Harv. L. Rev. 405, an article that discusses Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 128 S.Ct 999 (2008) and its impact on state law claims.
Of note, the authors state: "Despite criticisms that it leaves tort victims uncompensated, preemption is necessary to ensure that federal regulatory agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are the only governmental actors able to impose requirements on manufacturers – thereby ensuring a nationally standardized system of safety regulations without myriad local variations."
The authors also tackle an issue Riegel left open: "How to treat preemptive force of FDA regulation if agency approval is obtained by fraud." The authors acknowledge Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001), noting that if a state fraud claim "interferes with FDA regulatory decisions, preemption is likely to be (correctly) found." The authors opine that such actions should go forward only in situations "that would not impede the FDA’s ability to choose its own enforcement strategy." Id.