55) The Court never took up the question of the role of the saving clause because it rejected preemption for other reasons.
Stating that "[n]othing in the language of the saving clause suggests an intent to save state-law tort actions that conflict with federal regulations," (65) the Court held that conflict preemption barred the plaintiffs' claims.
Geier was also significant because the Court directly addressed the role of the saving clause in the preemption analysis.
78) The FBSA contained both an express preemption provision (79) and a saving clause.
89) Furthermore, the role of a saving clause in the preemption analysis has not been fully explored in the cases.
208) Second, the 1962 amendments contained a saving clause, which provided: "Nothing in the amendments made by this Act to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act shall be construed as invalidating any provision of State law .
Additionally, the Court noted the existence of the saving clause and the acquiescence of the FDA in the complementary role of state common law during most of the long history of the Act.
240) These arguments render meaningless the saving clause in the FDCA and suggest that it should be ignored for the purpose of implied preemption analysis.
This may apply even when the federal statute contains a saving clause that recognizes the continued vitality of state law.
In Geier, the Court found that a plaintiff's run-of-the-mill products liability claim against an auto manufacturer posed an undue obstacle to attaining the policies implicit in the federal auto safety program, even though the statute involved contained an express preemption clause and a saving clause explicitly preserving state common law claims.
The Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act contain an express preemption clause that uses the magic word "requirement" and does not have a saving clause.
The saving clause should leave the underlying substantive law of fraud to state courts and legislatures while at the same time protecting the federal agencies against manipulation, to the extent that state law is available to redress harm to the beneficiaries of regulatory action that is induced by such manipulative conduct.