The Truth About Preemption
A legal analysis of the federal and state laws governing the sale of
hearing instruments in Texas and the effect (or non-effect)
of the 2014 Walmart district court decision on these laws.
During 2016, the hearing aid industry has collectively engaged in a discussion concerning the outcome of a 2014 case in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Texas that resulted from a class action lawsuit filed by a group of licensed hearing aid dispensers against Walmart for allegedly “fitting and/or dispensing hearing instruments in their Texas stores in violation of Texas Occupation Code Chapter 402”. Despite what you may read on the internet, the case was decided two years ago - the decision was not appealed by the plaintiffs - and therefore no appellate court decision was ever issued in the case.
To set the record straight on the district court’s order, and on the issue of “selling” vs “fitting and dispensing hearing aids,” legal counsel for the Texas Hearing Aid Association has provided the following analysis of the federal and state laws and regulations applicable in this case and how this decision has virtually no affect on licensed hearing aid dispensers in Texas.