EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — An Illinois federal judge on April 21 granted Bayer Corp.’s motion for summary judgment in an Aleve case after excluding the plaintiff’s two experts from testified that the over-the-counter pain reliever caused permanent kidney damage (Kenneth Hale, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 15-745, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61077).
PARIS — Two French agencies on April 20 announced the results of a study showing a high birth defect effect from valproate, commonly sold as the antiepileptic drug Depakote in the United States.
Medical device companies C.R. Bard Inc. and Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD) will merge in a $24 billion cash and stock deal, the companies announced April 23.
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal jury on April 20 awarded $3 million to a widow after finding that GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) failed to update the label for the antidepressant Paxil to warn that the drug can cause suicide in patients older than 24 (Wendy B. Dolin, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on April 20 warned that children under 12, adolescents with fast metabolisms or who have had tonsillectomies and nursing mothers should not take prescription products containing the opioids codeine and tramadol for pain or cough suppression because of the serious risk of depressed breathing or death in them or breastfeeding babies.
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The New Jersey state court judge overseeing the Accutane multicounty litigation on April 13 granted a motion by defendant Hoffman-La Roche (Roche) to bar the general causation testimony of two plaintiff experts, one of whom has been with the litigation for most of its existence (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 271 (MCL), N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 13 allowed the U.S. acting solicitor general to participate in April 25 arguments about whether state courts can be a forum for claims by out-of-state residents against an out-of-state drug manufacturer (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, et al., No. 16-466, U.S. Sup.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico state court judge on March 31 awarded $2 million to a plaintiff who was injured by a metal-on-metal hip made by Zimmer Inc. (Michael Brian McDonald, Ph.D., v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., No. D-202-CV-2013-04060, N.M. Dist., Bernalillo Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — A man who claims to have developed shingles after getting a shingles vaccine knew the shot was a reasonable cause of his subsequent symptoms but missed the applicable two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against Merck & Co. Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (collectively, Merck), a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 13 in granting summary judgment for the defendants (Chris Juday, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 16-1547, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58356).
PHOENIX — Blood-testing start-up Theranos Inc. on April 18 agreed to pay $4.85 million to Arizona as full restitution to state residents who had their blood tested under the company’s auspices only to have 834,233 test results voided (State of Arizona, et al. v. Theranos, Inc., No. n/a, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on April 13 denied a defense motion to grant partial summary judgment based on preemption in the first two bellwether cases, saying the issues “are factually pregnant” and inappropriate for summary judgment (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56630).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania state court judge on April 17 granted a defense motion for a compulsory nonsuit in a Risperdal gynecomastia trial at the close of the plaintiff’s case (Dean Hibbs v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 130600861, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas state court judge on April 14 issued a temporary restraining order against the state’s planned executions of eight death row inmates in 11 days at the request of drug distributor McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. (McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc. v. State of Arkansas, et al., No. 60CV-17-1921, Ark Cir., Pulaski Co.).
NEW YORK — The New York federal judge overseeing the Eliquis multidistrict litigation on April 10 appointed plaintiff attorneys to leadership positions (In Re: Eliquis [Apixaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2754, No. 17-MD-2754, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on April 13 denied a defense motion to grant partial summary judgment based on preemption in the first two bellwether cases, saying the issues “are factually pregnant and inappropriate for summary judgment”(In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56630).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 agreed with a federal district court that nine plaintiffs bringing claims against Cordis Corp. for injuries allegedly caused by the defendant’s inferior vena cava (IVC) device are not seeking trials that would trigger federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jerry Dunson, et al. v. Cordis Corporation, No. 17-15257, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6446).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 11 denied a motion by Pfizer Inc. to dismiss a False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., lawsuit alleging that the company engaged in off-label promotion of the anti-fungal drug Vfend and paid kickbacks to doctors in exchange for prescribing the drug (United States of America, ex rel. Catherine A. Brown, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 05-6795, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55656).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — An Illinois federal judge on April 11 dismissed nine Depakote birth defect cases after ruling that the claims are time-barred by Indiana’s 10-year statute of repose (In Re: Depakote, Rhealyn Alexander, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-52, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55316).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Ethicon Inc. on April 13 opposed a motion by nine plaintiffs to centralize federal lawsuits alleging injury from the Physiomesh Flexible Composite hernia patch (In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2782, JPMDL).