BOSTON — The U.S. Justice Department on Oct 1 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to defer a restitution order for opioid manufacturing defendant Insys Therapeutics Inc. until at least Jan. 10 (United States v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 19-cr-10191, D. Mass.).
CLEVELAND — On the same day it was filed, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on Oct. 11 denied Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.’s motion to sever it from the Oct. 21 bellwether trial because it won’t have enough time to differentiate between its subsidiaries and other nonmanufacturing defendants (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio).
NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma attorney general on Oct. 10 urged a state court judge to enter his judgment of $572 million against Johnson & Johnson for the first year of the state’s opioid abatement plan and to deny the defendant’s motion for a new trial (Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma, et al., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.).
PHOENIX — The law firm for former Theranos Inc. CEO Elizabeth Holmes on Sept. 30 asked an Arizona federal court for permission to withdraw as defense counsel because it has not been paid for more than a year and has “no expectation that Ms. Holmes will ever pay it for its services as her counsel” (In Re: Arizona Theranos, Inc., Litigation, No. 16-2138, D. Ariz.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 9 dismissed without an opinion yet another challenge by a plaintiffs’ law firm to common benefit awards made by the federal court overseeing seven pelvic mesh multidistrict litigations (Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, No. 19-1943, 4th Cir.).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 denied two last-minute attempts to stop the Oct. 21 opioid multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, one on the basis of parens patriae by the state of Ohio and one by defendants who claim that the MDL judge is biased (In Re: State of Ohio, No. 19-3827, In Re: AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, et al., No. 19-3935, 6th Cir.).
ATLANTA — In a “close” 2-1 ruling, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 8 affirmed a $2.4 million compensatory/punitives judgment in a Mentor Corp. pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (Teresa Taylor v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-17147, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30159).
PHILADELPHIA — Free to do so after a state appeals court ruling, a Pennsylvania state court jury on Oct. 8 ordered Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to pay a Maryland man $8 billion in punitive damages in a Risperdal gynecomastia case (Nicholas Murray v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 130401990, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three plaintiffs on Oct. 3 asked a federal judicial panel to centralize five lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that Biocell textured breast implants made by Allergan PLC cause breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) (In Re: Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2921, JPMDL).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio judge presiding over the opioid multidistrict litigation on Sept. 27 allowed defendants in an upcoming bellwether trial to receive some information about prospective jurors that the defendants say they intend to use to seek a stay of the Oct. 21 trial (County of Summit, Ohio, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 18-op-45090, County of Cuyahoga v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 18-op-45004, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167387).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut state court judge on Sept. 11 denied post-verdict defense motions in a Pradaxa blood thinner injury trial and granted the plaintiff’s motion for punitive damages but awarded only $1 for attorney fees (Eugene Roberto v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. CV16-6068484S, Conn. Super., Hartford).
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).