CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on Sept. 3 issued six opinions denying defendants’ motions for summary judgment on issues such as preemption, causation and civil liability (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
STAINES-UPON-THAMES, England — British drug maker Mallinckrodt PLC on Sept. 3 said it has finalized a $15.4 million agreement to settle a false claims investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into “legacy sales and marketing activities” by Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. before Questcor was bought by Mallinckrodt.
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Sept. 3 entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against two companies and their principals for allegedly violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S. Code § 301 et seq., by distributing drugs, dietary supplements and devices that are unapproved, adulterated or misbranded (United States v. Basic Reset, et al., No. 19-752, M.D. Tenn.).
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 26 granted summary judgment in an orthopedic device case, saying the plaintiff hadn’t presented convincing evidence or refuted defense evidence that he contributed to the device’s failure by ignoring explicit instructions (Dwane Roy Miller v. DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc., No. 17-235, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145539).
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 28 overruled objections by medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. to a magistrate judge’s recommendation that the company be compelled to produce presentations the company made to the United States while the government investigated a whistleblower’s allegations about the alleged sales of defective heart devices and the payment of kickbacks to cardiologists (United States of America, et al., ex rel. Steven Higgins v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 11-2453, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146498).
DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 9 affirmed the second dismissal of a case by a couple who alleged that their son’s birth defects were cause by the mother’s pre-pregnancy ingestion of the fertility drug Clomid (Victoria Cerveny, et al. v. Aventis, Inc., No. 17-4204, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23773).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court on Aug. 29 said the state secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet has the authority to cancel the state attorney general’s contingency fee contract with an outside law firm to sue opioid drug makers (William M. Landrum III, et al. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, ex rel. Andy Beshear, et al., No. 2018-SC-000122-TG, Ky. Sup., 2019 Ky. LEXIS 346).
DUBLIN, Ireland — Drug maker Allergan PLC on Aug. 30 announced that it agreed to pay $5 million to two Ohio counties to settle the counties’ opioid claims slated for a federal opioid multidistrict litigation bellwether trial in October.
LOS ANGELES — A California state court judge on Aug. 2 granted a petition to coordinate 16 multiplaintiff tenofovir cases in the San Francisco County Superior Court (Gilead Tenofovir Cases, JCCP No. 5043, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois Aug. 29 denied a majority of Abiomed Inc.’s motion to dismiss a man’s lawsuit that claims he had to have three fingers on his dominant hand amputated as a result of a defective surgical pump that could not be removed following an open heart surgery in January 2018, but dismissed the man’s claim that the manufacturer could be liable for spoliation of evidence because it discarded the pump following a second surgery that was needed to remove it (Jack Moore v. Abiomed Inc., No. 19-cv-03051, C.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147191).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court on Aug. 21 denied review of an appellate court ruling giving Boston Globe Life Sciences Media LLC access to the deposition of a Purdue Pharma L.P. family member from the state’s settled lawsuit against the opioid maker (Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al. v. Boston Globe Life Sciences Media, LLC, et al., No. 2019-SC-000045-D, Ky. Sup.).
STAMFORD, Conn. — OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma L.P. on Aug. 28 said in a statement that it is actively working with state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve a global resolution of the opioid litigation the company faces.
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 26 said a plaintiff who claims that the prescription heartburn drug Nexium caused his stomach cancer can’t make claims outside of the Louisiana Product Liability Act (LPLA) but otherwise said the plaintiff’s LPLA claims escape dismissal (Stanley P. Baudin v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals L.P., et al., No. 18-1063, M.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145210).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on Aug. 22 dismissed a DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. knee lawsuit after a magistrate judge recommended dismissal with and without prejudice and after the plaintiff moved to dismiss all his claims (Willie Claude Porter v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., No. 19-7, E.D. Va., Richmond Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144007).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Aug. 22 dismissed two complaints alleging that breast implant maker Allergan Sales LLC aided and abetted a plastic surgery medical practice that allegedly routinely explanted saline breast implants to obtain warranty payments (Elizabeth Michelle Angell, et al. v. Allergan Sales, LLC, No. 18-282, Ashley J. Hicks v. Allergan Sales, LLC, No. 18-283, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142768).
NORMAN, Okla. — An Oklahoma state court judge on Aug. 26 ordered Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to pay $572.1 million to fund the first year of the state’s opioid crisis abatement plan (Oklahoma, ex rel., Mike Hunter, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.). VIDEO OF JUDGMENT SUMMARY AVAILABLE.
NORMAN, Okla. — An Oklahoma state court judge on Aug. 26 found the state proved that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals created a public nuisance in their manufacture and marketing of opioids and ordered them to pay $572.1 million to fund the first years of an opioid crisis abatement program (Oklahoma, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.).
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals court on Aug. 23 denied a petition by five opioid manufacturer defendants for a writ of mandamus challenging a trial court’s denial of their dismissal motion against four Texas counties (In Re Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 01-19-00551, Texas App., 1st Dist., Houston).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge presiding over the opioid multidistrict litigation on Aug. 9 granted summary judgment to plaintiffs on the issue of whether defendants owe duties under the Controlled Substances Act to report suspicious opioid orders, but he declined to find that the defendants committed actual violations, leaving that issue for a jury (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140020).