KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on Dec. 16 “reluctantly” agreed to postpone an April 13 class action trial due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic (In Re: EpiPen [Epinephrine Injection, USP] Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, D. Kan.).
BOSTON — Biotechnology company Biogen Inc. has agreed to pay $22 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by using patient assistance foundations to cover patient co-pays for the company’s multiple sclerosis drugs Avonex and Tysabri, the U.S. Justice Department announced Dec. 17 (United States, et al., ex rel. Paul Nee v. Biogen Inc., et al., No 17-cv-10192, D. Mass.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 16 centralized 80 federal cases alleging injuries from broken Paragard intrauterine devices (IUDs) (In Re: Paragard IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2974, JPMDL, 2020 U.S. Dist. 236061).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 15 granted a plaintiffs’ motion to centralize 128 federal lawsuits alleging eye injuries caused by the bladder drug Elmiron in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (In Re: Elmiron [Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2973, JPMDL).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 9 affirmed a $762,525 retaliation verdict against medical device maker Coloplast Corp. in a case brought by a former top salesperson who said she was punished for her involvement in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the payment of kickbacks to one of her clients (Amy Lestage, et al. v. Coloplast Corp., et al., No. 19-2037, 1st Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 38366).
INDIANAPOLIS — The Cook Medical inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation court on Dec. 10 granted summary judgment for the defendant in two cases on the grounds that their claims were filed too late under Nebraska’s statute of repose (In Re: Cook Medical, Inc. IVC Filters Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2570, No. 14-ml-2570, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed summary judgment in a pelvic mesh case, finding that the plaintiff’s injury occurred before Tennessee’s six-year statute of repose period expired and that the plaintiff’s injury claim was untimely (Leslie Clabo v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 20-5168, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39041).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals court on Dec. 11 affirmed summary judgment in a case in which an eye surgery patient alleges that off-label use of an antibiotic permanently damaged her vision, saying she had not produced prima facie evidence of negligence by the drug manufacturer (Karen J. Stiens v. Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, No. 2018-CA-1762, Ky. App., 2020 Ky. App. LEXIS 129).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Dec. 9 dismissed the claims of a Native American tribe against “opioid bad men” saying a “bad men” provision in an 1867 treaty addresses only individual injuries and not claimed tribal injuries (Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes v. United States, No. 20-143, Fed. Clms.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed summary judgment in a case involving broken orthopedic screws, saying the defendants warned about possible device failure, the defendants did not breach their duty of care to the plaintiff and there was no privity to create a breach of warranty (Dwane Roy Miller v. DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc., et al., No. 19-16821, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 38595).
GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland federal judge on Dec. 9 denied a motion by the United States to stay his preliminary injunction against the government’s in-person requirement for the dispensing of the mifepristone abortion drug, saying the defendant did not identify any “changed circumstances” in the COVID-19 pandemic (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 20-1320, D. Md.).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 8 affirmed the exclusion of all seven plaintiff general causation experts from a Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) multidistrict litigation that resulted in summary judgment against hundreds of plaintiffs (In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation [No. II], No. 19-2155, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 38161).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 7 denied a petition for certiorari by a parent of an autistic adult child who claims that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Merck & Co. Inc. covered up evidence that the mercury-containing thimerosal preservative in a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism (Jane Doe, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 20-451, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 2 affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of the claims of four women who claimed to have had permanent hair loss from the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, saying the plaintiffs repeatedly missed court deadlines to file plaintiff fact sheets (In Re: Taxotere Products Liability Litigation, No. 19-30631, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37667).
NEWARK, N.J. — OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma L.P. on Nov. 24 was charged and pleaded guilty in a New Jersey federal court to conspiring to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (United States v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 20-cr-1028, D. N.J.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 20 denied a motion by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. to find that three pediatric medical practices have to arbitrate their antitrust claims against the manufacturer and allowed the plaintiffs’ claim to proceed to adjudication on the merits (In Re Rotavirus Vaccines Antitrust Litigation, No. 18-1734, E.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE — A Washington state court on Nov. 17 found AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. (ABDC) in contempt of court for discovery misconduct and ordered the drug distributor to produce any outstanding documents within 10 days, to produce a complete set of documents for its board of directors, to offer one or more corporate witnesses for depositions and to pay fees and costs incurred by the state’s contempt motion (Washington v. McKesson Drug Corporation, et al., No. 19-2-06975-9, Wash. Super., King Co.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The three major drug distributors on Nov. 30 moved in West Virginia federal court to have their opioid trial continued again, from Jan. 4 to April 19, due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic (Huntington v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, et al., No. 17-1362, Cabell County Commission v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, et al., No. 17-1655, S.D. W.Va.).