BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on March 21 dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit in which a woman claims that a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine caused her son to develop autism (Jane Doe, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 16-4005, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47249).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel on March 21 denied a motion by the state government to allow its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma LP to be remanded from the MDL court to a state district court (In Re Texas Opioid Litigation, MDL No. 18-0358, Texas MDL Panel, 2019 Tex. LEXIS 298).
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Healthcare on March 25 announced that it and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. have reached an agreement in principle to settle more than 25,000 Xarelto anticoagulant claims for $775 million.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –— Public Citizen and the chair of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on March 21 filed a citizen petition asking the FDA to impose a moratorium on approval of all new drug applications for new opioids or opioid formulation until the agency implements a recommendation to “prevent a continuation of dangerous past regulatory errors that clearly have contributed to the current deadly opioid crisis in the U.S.”
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on March 19 disqualified counsel for manufacturing defendant Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. because the attorney is a former U.S. attorney who had access to confidential, nonpublic information while serving as a prosecutor (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46065).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on March 18 remanded a pelvic mesh case to state court after finding that the plaintiff’s claims of product liability and medical malpractice against in-state defendants arose out of the same transaction in New Jersey and the court lacked jurisdiction (Denise Burns v. Boston Scientific Corp., et al., No. 18-12323, D. N.J., Camden Vicinage, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43270).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on March 14 dismissed a whistleblower’s lawsuit alleging that Pfizer Inc. and then-subsidiary Hospira Inc. failed to act on regulatory violations involving infusion pumps and retaliated against him for calling attention to the problem (United States, ex rel. Michael Thornton v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 16-7142, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41344).
INDIANAPOLIS — Cook Medical Inc. on March 12 filed motions for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) or a new trial in an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation bellwether case that in February resulted in a $3 million verdict (Tonya Brand v. Cook Medical, Inc., No. 14-6018, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).
NEW ORLEANS — Parties in 15 consolidated appeals involving the DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle and Ultamet hips on March 14 dismissed their appeals and cross-appeals in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals with prejudice (Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 17-10017, 5th Cir.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Philadelphia plaintiff law firm on March 18 asked the West Virginia federal judge overseeing seven pelvic mesh multidistrict litigations to order the disclosure of all document provided in camera to the judge in support of his common benefit fee and costs award by the plaintiffs Fees and Costs Committee (In Re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2187, No. 13-md-2187, S.D. W.Va.).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal judge on March 5 denied dismissal of a manufacturing defect in a Wright metal-on-metal hip case because the plaintiff sufficiently alleges that the device that was implanted in him was out of specifications and caused metallosis and required replacement surgery (Travis Crowther v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., No. 18-120, D. Utah, Northern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36034).
SALEM, Ore. — Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay $975,000 to settle allegations by the Oregon attorney general that the drug company distributed misleading marketing materials and co-pay or deductible coupons for three Pfizer drugs, the Attorney General’s Office announced March 11.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on March 15 said a preliminary review of data has identified a potential “signal” of higher deaths among patients who were treated with paclitaxel-coated heart devices than patients treated with “bare” devices.
CHANDLER, Ariz. — The company auditor for opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. says the company’s financial troubles “raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” according to the company’s Form 10-K annual report released March 13.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A bid for federal preemption in an intraocular lens injury case was short-circuited March 12 after a New York federal judge said the plaintiff was not challenging federal regulatory action and the court thus lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Joseph Barone v. Bausch & Lomb, Inc., et al., No. 17-6877, W.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39642).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge presiding over the trial of five Insys Therapeutics Inc. executives on March 15 issued a written opinion stating that testimony that the company’s top Subsys salesperson was hired out of a strip club is relevant but a topless photo of her from the internet is “salacious” and is out as evidence (United States v. Michael J. Gurry, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 14 remanded an Essure birth control device case to state court, ruling that the existence and citation of federal regulation does not create federal question jurisdiction (Kristina Tweed Burrell, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 17-1715, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7533).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia federal judge overseeing seven pelvic mesh multidistrict litigations on March 12 accepted an external review specialist’s recommendation on disbursement of common benefit fees and costs (In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2440, No.13-md-2440, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).
PHILADELPHIA — A retrial in an Ethicon pelvic mesh case got under way March 13 in a Pennsylvania state court (Susan McFarland v. Ethicon Women's Health and Urology, Inc., et al., No. 130701577, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).