WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 denied review of a prescription eyedrop case, sending the purported class action back to a New Jersey federal court for further proceedings (Alcon Laboratories, Inc., et al. v. Leonard Cottrell, et al., No. 17-1337, U.S. Sup.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on May 18 issued a drug safety communication that the HIV drug dolutegravir, sold as Tivicay, Juluca and Trimeq, has been associated with neural tube birth defects in an African observational study.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 denied review of a case by two whistleblowers who claimed that the former Solvay Pharmaceuticals engaged in off-label marketing of three drugs, including AndroGel, and caused the submission of false claims to federal health care programs (United States, ex rel. John King, et al. v. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated, No. 17-1370, U.S. Sup.).
LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Supreme Court on May 18 affirmed the exclusion of a plaintiff’s sole causation expert in an Accutane bowel injury case, saying the expert’s methodology failed to meet case law standards (Aimee Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. 300 Neb. 47, Neb. Sup.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal jury on May 15 returned a defense verdict in the fourth AndroGel multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (Arthur Myers, et al. v. Abbvie Inc., et al., No. 15-1085, N.D. Ill.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on May 9 affirmed dismissal of an opioid death complaint because the complaint was premised on violation of federal drug law and is preempted (Joseph A. Caltagirone, et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., No. 1303 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub LEXIS 1504).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on May 15 said the state’s Zoloft mass tort court correctly granted summary judgment in two cases after the plaintiffs’ experts could not testify and said the plaintiffs cannot rely on documents or the testimony of opposing experts to prove inadequate warning (J.C., et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 17-0282, W.Va. Sup., 2018 W. Va. LEXIS 402).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 reversed a $1 million verdict for a doctor who says CVS Pharmacy defamed him when it refused to fill his patients’ opioid prescriptions (Anthony Mimms v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 17-1918, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12179).
MINNEAPOLIS — The first bellwether trial in the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation got under way on May 14 in Minnesota federal court (Louis Gareis, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-4187, D. Minn.).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 11 unsealed five whistle-blower lawsuits alleging that Insys Therapeutics paid kickbacks for doctors to prescribe its opioid drug Subsys (United States of America, et al., ex rel. Maria Guzman v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 13-5861, United States of America, et al., ex rel. John Doe, et al., No. 14-34888, United States of America, ex rel. Allison Erickson, et al. v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., No. 16-2956, United States of America, ex rel. Jane Doe, et al. v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., No. 16-7937, C.D. Calif., Western Div.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 10 remanded the cases of 4,321 Lipitor diabetes plaintiffs to state court, finding that nothing that was said or done by either the plaintiffs or California state judges in connection with a state coordinated Lipitor litigation meant that the plaintiffs intend to have a joint trial (In Re: Lipitor, No. 18-1725, C.D. California, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80284).
NEW YORK — A New York state court justice on April 25 denied summary judgment in a Lyrica injury case, finding that the prescribing physician may not have been aware of the current risks listed on the drug’s label at the time she prescribed the drug and the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries (Evelyn Karambelas v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 150334/16, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1507).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on May 11 ruled that state statutory law, case law, public policy and legal precedent do not allow the manufacturer of the antibiotic Levaquin to be sued for injuries allegedly caused by the drug’s generic version, levofloxacin (Kimmy McNair, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 17-0519, W.Va. Sup. Ct. App., 2018 W.Va. LEXIS 344).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California federal judge did not err in finding that a nationwide provider of health care services for patients with AIDS lacks declaratory judgment standing to maintain an action against the brand name manufacturer of drugs containing tenofir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 11 (AIDS Healthcare Foundation Inc. v. Gilead Sciences Inc., et al., No. 16-2475, Fed. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 8 denied a motion by GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) to make a plaintiff law firm pay all the special master fees and costs incurred after the plaintiffs’ firm admitted to falsifying an expert report in an attempt to get a plaintiff to voluntarily withdraw her thalidomide birth defect case (Glenda Johnson, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 11-5782, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77223).
CLEVELAND — Saying that the data has helped with litigation in six states, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on May 7 ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide opioid monitoring data for the entire United States (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three federal Veterans Affairs health clinic employees were indicted May 8 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina for conspiracy and graft for allegedly taking money and gifts from allograft maker MiMedx Group Inc. in exchange for buying or recommending the company’s products (United States of America v. Donna Becker, et al., No. 18-cr-481, D. S.C.).
CLEVELAND — Another lawsuit filed by a Native American tribe seeking to hold drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for the national opioid crisis is among the latest batch of suits transferred May 8 to a multidistrict litigation docket in Ohio federal court that now contains nearly 700 cases (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78022).
BOSTON — The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing the New England Compounding Center (NECC) criminal case on May 7 granted a motion by six of the nine remaining defendants to exclude evidence from their Oct. 4 trial about patient deaths and injuries from contaminated methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) made by the drug compounding pharmacy (United States v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76613).