Excerpted from a report by Jim Dickinson
(Full story is available behind a paywall)
One of FDA’s brightest stars ─ and its toughest attorney ─ deputy chief counsel for litigation Eric M. Blumberg, died 3/7, exactly one week after suffering a stroke. He joined the agency in 1970 after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969 and three years previously from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, in 1966. He became deputy chief counsel for litigation in 9/91.
Sometimes criticized for the bluntness of his frequent public warnings to industry about the need for unfailing compliance with FDA regulations, he is remembered by the unofficial dean of FDA law, former (Nixon) chief counsel Peter Barton Hutt, as the FDA trial lawyer who built the landmark 1975 case that resulted in the so-called “Park Doctrine” of CEO strict personal liability for company wrongdoing.
Blumberg most recently spoke publicly on this in December, when he railed against the failure of monetary penalties to adequately curtail industry violations and called for more prison terms for responsible executives.
Blumberg’s immediate superior, FDA chief counsel Liz Dickinson issued this statement: “We are all saddened by the passing today of our long-time colleague, Ric Blumberg, FDA’s long time litigation deputy. Ric’s dedication to the agency over a 42-year career, and to the effective use of the law to protect the public, was widely recognized. Fearless, kind-hearted, and brilliant, he nurtured the careers of dozens of food and drug lawyers who carry on his legacy in the government and beyond. We all will miss him immensely.”