Tuesday, April 21, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court: Tuna/Mercury Poisoning Case

Chicken of the SeaImage via Wikipedia

An interesting case, and the SCOTUS' decision to let stand a lower court ruling (thanks to the WSJ.com site):

The Supreme Court left in place a lower court ruling that allowed a New Jersey woman to sue a tuna-fish producer over the mercury poisoning she allegedly suffered after her diet consisted almost exclusively of canned tuna for five years.

The woman, Deborah Fellner, said Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, the maker of Chicken of the Sea brand tuna, failed to warn her of the risks of consuming tuna fish.

Tri-Union said U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations prevented it from placing a mercury warning label on its products. The company said that Fellner's suit should be thrown out because it conflicted with the FDA's regulatory regime.

A federal trial judge had tossed Fellner's lawsuit, but an appeals court in Philadelphia reinstated it, saying the FDA had taken no regulatory action that preempted her legal claims.

"Tri-Union argued that the appeals court ruling put it in the untenable position of facing legal liability under state law for not including a warning label that would have rendered its products misbranded under federal law."

More at the source.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]