Press Releases

AdvaMed Files Amicus Brief with Utah Supreme Court in Burningham v. Wright Medical


Jon Dobson
[email protected]
(202) 434-7272

WASHINGTON, D.C.The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) issued the following statement from Matthew Wetzel, vice president and assistant general counsel, regarding this week’s filing of an amicus curiae brief with the Utah Supreme Court in the case of Burningham v. Wright Medical:

“AdvaMed’s amicus brief asks the Utah Supreme Court to apply longstanding tort law principles fairly and evenly to the medical devices that help save and improve patients’ lives. In the Burningham case, the Utah Supreme Court will decide whether to apply to medical devices a key legal doctrine that protects manufacturers of technologically-advanced products from the unfair application of strict liability.

“Some products, given their advanced technological design, can only be sold subject to proper instructions and related precautions, and under the direction of a physician. Therefore, a longstanding tort principle (the so-called “comment K” tort principle) indicates that makers of such products – including FDA cleared or approved medical technologies – cannot be held to strict liability for their use. Our brief urges the Utah Supreme Court to categorically apply this tort principle to medical devices, regardless of whether the product reached the marketplace through the PMA or 510(k) process. 

“Joined by a coalition composed of the American Tort Reform Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, PhRMA, and BioUtah, we hope that our brief will encourage the Utah Supreme Court to give medical device manufacturers a fair shake in defending themselves under Utah law.”

For a copy of the AdvaMed amicus brief, please click here. To see a related amicus brief filed by the Washington Legal Foundation, click here.