New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson has reached a $20.4 million settlement with two Ohio counties to head off an Oct. 21 opioid multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, the company said in an Oct. 1 press release (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2801, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
DENVER — Thirty-eight cancer treatment facilities on Sept. 24 told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court erred in ruling that federal preemption bars their claims that drug maker Genentech Inc. sold them adulterated vials of the chemotherapy drug Herceptin that were underfilled (In Re: MDL 2700 Genentech Herceptin, et al., No. 19-5035, 10th Cir.).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 30 denied a plaintiff attorney’s motion to confirm an arbitration award for attorney fees in a DePuy ASR hip case, saying the master settlement agreement for the ASR multidistrict litigation has authority for all attorney fee disputes (Andrea K. Drake, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-dp-20140, N.D. Ohio, Western Div., U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169306).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 19 approved the sale of the opioid drug Subsys to BTcP Pharma LLC (In Re: Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 19-11292, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mylan N.V. will pay $30 million to settle claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the pharmaceutical company misclassified its EpiPen epinephrine autoinjector as a generic product to avoid paying rebates to the Medicaid program, according to a consent motion for entry of final judgment filed by the SEC on Sept. 27 in the District of Columbia federal court (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mylan N.V., No. 19-2904, D. D.C.).
NEW ORLEANS — The first bellwether trial in the Taxotere hair loss multidistrict litigation ended Sept. 26 with a verdict for defendant Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC (Barbara Earnest v. Sanofi Aventis U.S. LLC, et al., No. 16-17144, E.D. La.).
SAN DIEGO — A California state court judge is weighing a verdict in California’s pelvic mesh unfair competition and false advertising lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson following closing arguments Sept. 26 at the end of the nine-week trial (California v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — The New Jersey federal judge overseeing the valsartan multidistrict litigation on Sept. 18 denied a motion by multiple defendants to require plaintiffs to disclose if they are being financial backed by litigation funding, finding that the information is irrelevant and that there’s no showing that lawsuit financiers are real parties-in-interest that control the litigation (In Re: Valsartan N-Nitrosodimethylamine Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2875, No. 19-2875, D. N.J., Camden Vicinage).
TULSA, Okla. — Johnson & Johnson on Sept. 25 filed a motion asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to take jurisdiction over what it called a “protective appeal” of a trial court’s $572 million opioid public nuisance judgment against it (Oklahoma, et al. v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al., No. 11872, Okla. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Sept. 26 heard arguments on a plaintiffs’ motion to expand the scope of the valsartan NDMA multidistrict litigation to include losartan and irbesartan (In Re: Valsartan Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2875, JPMDL).
Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. was charged with paying kickbacks to a prescriber and will pay $115.86 million in a criminal penalty, forfeiture and a civil false claims settlement the U.S. Justice Department announced in a Sept. 26 press release.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Plaintiffs from the opioid multidistrict litigation on Sept. 25 filed a motion asking a Delaware bankruptcy court to convert Insys Therapeutics Inc.’s bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (In Re: Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 19-11292, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 25 ordered the opioid multidistrict litigation court and two Ohio counties to answer a mandamus petition filed by the state of Ohio seeking to dismiss or stay the counties’ Oct. 21 trial against seven opioid defendants (In Re: Ohio, No. 19-3827, 6th Cir.).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge presiding over the opioid multidistrict litigation on Sept. 26 denied a motion by five defendants to disqualify himself, saying he is not biased in favor of settlement and that the defendants waived their rights to seek disqualification by waiting 18 months into the litigation (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2801, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission on Sept. 24 issued a press release stating that its staff has sent letters to seven unidentified legal practitioners and “lead generators” expressing the agency’s concerns that some television ads soliciting clients allegedly injured by drugs may be deceptive under the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 23 ruled that a lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug company and certain of its current and former senior executives failed to sufficiently establish the necessary causal link between the defendants’ alleged misrepresentations during the class period and any claimed economic loss by the lead plaintiff to support his federal securities law claims (Tim Karth v. Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-11745, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161626).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 23 dismissed without comment an appeal by an Ohio plaintiffs’ law firm that challenged a common benefit fee order by the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation court (Anderson Law Offices, et al. v. Common Benefit Fee and Cost Committee, No. 19-1850, 4th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 23 ruled that the lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit has sufficiently pleaded scienter and loss causation for several, but not all, of his federal securities law claims against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives based on alleged misstatements the defendants made regarding the success of a clinical study the company conducted for its obesity treatment drug (Karim Khoja v. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 15-540, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162366).
BOSTON — The United States in a Sept. 21 brief tells the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the former lead pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) should get more jail time and be ordered to pay a higher forfeiture amount for the pharmacist’s role in the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak (United States v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 18-1263, 18-1310-18-1500, 1st Cir.).