January 1997 AAOS Report
Motion filed to dismiss PLC complaint in pedicle screw case
The Academy along with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, North American Spine Society and Scoliosis Research Society again have filed a motion to dismiss the complaints that were refiled by the Plaintiffs Legal Committee (PLC) in October in the pedicle screw multidistrict litigation being heard by Judge Louis Bechtle in Philadelphia. The amended complaints refiled by the PLC allege that the medical societies participated in and are continuing to participate in an "intercompany/association conspiracy" to "promote, market, distribute and sell devices intended for use as pedicle screw fixations ... through deceptive and misleading means," including holding workshops, conferences and symposia for which the medical societies received "significant financial compensation and remuneration." In the motion filed by the Academy and other medical societies, the organizations argued that "the First Amendment protects the activities of associations and therefore forbids these cases," and because "the associations are not regulated by the U.S. Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, even if the sessions were unabashedly for the purpose of stimulating sales, this is not wrongful conduct."