Commentary: Justices Must Stop the Legal System from Becoming a Quick-Return Investment Scheme for Trial Lawyers

United States Supreme Court building

In the interest of a return to normalcy, we take this short break from COVID and Ukraine coverage to bring to your attention an actual conservative policy matter. The pesky trial lawyers and their junk science “experts” are at it again, providing certain justices of the Supreme Court an opportunity to show us they can still do the right thing. 

I’m not pointing fingers at say, Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, but certain esteemed members of the court who had less than smooth sailing in their confirmation battles and for whom conservatives stormed the ramparts (figuratively speaking of course), have left us wondering if they were worth the battle scars. Here’s some low hanging fruit for them to pick off and make everyone breathe a little easier. All they have to do is vote to take a certain case.

The case involves a long-running dispute brought by the inventor of a special warming blanket called the Bair Hugger (now owned by 3M) which has proven to reduce post-operative infections and other complications and has been used in over 300 million surgeries worldwide to maintain patients’ body temperatures. The inventor, Dr. Scott Augustine made a fortune on this device but lost his rights to the product and its proceeds when he pled guilty to Medicare fraud in an unrelated matter. Dr. Augustine then invented a competing device and waged a campaign to discredit the Bair Hugger claiming that it caused infections. He then hired “experts” and funded studies to back up his claim. Except one of the actual authors of the studies called those studies “marketing rather than research.” As in not based on facts. The FDA admonished Dr. Augustine to stop the false campaign. And not a single physician who uses the Bair Hugger, or a single epidemiologist or any public health officials have supported Dr. Augustine’s contention. 

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