New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Trial got under way Sept. 12 in a retaliation and slander case in which a former sales representative accused Zimmer Biomet Inc. of retaliatory discharge and slander for reporting possibly illegal practices by an orthopedic surgeon (Dominick Pistone v. Zimmer Biomet, Inc., No. 16-3526, E.D. Pa., Allentown Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. on Sept. 12 gave blanket consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs in its petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on the reinstatement of Fosamax femur fracture claims (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Doris Albrecht, et al., No. 17-290, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 14 denied judgment as a matter of law or a new trial for GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) in a Paxil suicide case that ended in a $3 million verdict (Wendy B. Dolin, et al. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148966).
BOSTON — A second federal criminal trial stemming from the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak tied to New England Compounding Center (NECC) got under way Sept. 19 in Boston (United States of America v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
ST. LOUIS — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 8 reversed and remanded a Baycol whistleblower case, saying a district court misapplied the standard for whether the relator was an original source of information about fraudulent promotion of the cholesterol drug and the filing of false claims to government health care programs (In Re: Baycol Products Litigation, United States of America, ex rel. Laurie Simpson v. Bayer Healthcare, et al., No. 15-2220, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17371).
TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on Sept. 12 appointed plaintiff and defense attorneys to leadership positions (In Re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-2785, D. Kan.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 10-year-old Kugel mesh hernia patch multidistrict litigation was marked closed Sept. 15 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) (In Re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1842, JPMDL).
TOPEKA, Kan. — A motion to dismiss an EpiPen antitrust lawsuit continued to play out in two federal courts Sept. 14 when defendant Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC filed its opposition and defendant Mylan Inc. filed a reply (In Re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, D. Kan., and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC v. Mylan, Inc., et al., No. 17-2763, D. N.J.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Sept. 14 said a former senior manager for Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. failed to show that her employer retaliated against her for reporting false claims activities in the promotion of certain drugs (Rasvinder Dhaliwal v. Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., No. 15-706, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149690).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Sept. 15 said a plaintiff in a Protégé Spinal Cord Stimulator case cannot overcome federal preemption of her claims but can file an amended complaint to state more plausible claims (Kathleen M. Freed, et al. v. St. Jude Medical, Inc., et al., No. 17-1128, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149926).
CHICAGO — The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation on Sept. 18 denied a motion by defendants AbbVie Inc. and Abbott Laboratories to certify for interlocutory appeal the court’s ruling denying summary judgment on failure-to-warn claims (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-01748, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 25 will consider whether to review an MDL court’s exclusion of 510(k) approval from an Ethicon pelvic mesh bellwether trial that resulted in a $3.27 million verdict in 2014 (Ethicon, Inc., et al. v. Jo Huskey, et vir., No. 16-1399, U.S. Sup., U.S. S.Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2913).
TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the new EpiPen multidistrict litigation on Sept. 14 ordered separate tracks for consumer class claims and an antitrust lawsuit (In Re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, D. Kan.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 told parties in the incretin mimetics multidistrict litigation appeal that it wants them to address the effect of the Third Circuit’s warnings ruling in the Fosamax femur fracture multidistrict litigation when their case comes up for argument on Oct. 3 (In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation, Jean Adams, et al. v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 15-56997, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal multidistrict litigation judge on Sept. 13 denied a motion by AbbVie Inc. to reconsider his decision allowing certain marketing evidence in a Sept. 18 retrial of an AndroGel heart attack case (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that a biotechnology company failed to show that it is a current or potential competitor of a company that uses the same pharmaceutical ingredient in its product, a California federal judge on Sept. 12 dismissed its claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Ixchel Pharma LLC v. Biogen Inc., No. 2:17-00715, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147742).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court on Sept. 12 ruled that Abbott Laboratories Inc. received a fair trial in a Depakote birth defect case that resulted in a $38 million judgment (Miasia Barron, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., No. SC96151, Mo. Sup., 2017 Mo. LEXIS 403).
OAKLAND, Calif. — The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company relied on erroneous information in arguing that the company and certain of its senior executives concealed from investors certain adverse events observed in a phase III clinical trial for the company’s hepatitis B drug in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 12 in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss (In re Dynavax Securities Litigation, No. 16-6690, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147760).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 affirmed summary judgment in a spinal plate lawsuit and the denial of the plaintiff’s “newly discovered evidence” in the case (Bryant Lyles v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, USA, Inc., No. 16-30517, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17534).