BOSTON — The founder of opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. on April 27 got an extra two months of freedom before having to report to prison to serve his 66-month sentence for his fraud conviction in an opioid kickback trial (United States v. John Kapoor, No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on April 27 denied a motion to take in a racketeering class action alleging that defendant Mylan N.V. manipulated expiration dates to force patients to refill their prescriptions more often than they needed to (In Re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785 [Troy Gott v. Mylan N.V., et al., No. 20-2099], D. Kan., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73242).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on April 24 allowed two experts to opine that a surgical device was faulty and that the defect caused a hysterectomy patient’s injuries, though the judge limited one expert’s testimony when opining on what part of the device is defective (Candy Trump v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 5:18-cv-06413, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73781).
BOSTON — A Virginia orthopedic surgeon on April 24 agreed to pay $1.75 million to resolve federal allegations that he accepted kickbacks in the form of sham consulting fees originating from a medical device manufacturer in exchange for using the company’s devices, according to an April 24 settlement agreement.
BOSTON — The United States in an April 24 opposition brief tells a Massachusetts federal court that it opposes continuing the May 19 prison surrender date for former Insys Therapeutics Inc. owner John Kapoor because he remains a flight risk (United States v. John Kapoor, No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 23 remanded class certification in an antitrust dispute upon finding that a New Jersey federal judge’s order failed to resolve “key factual disputes, assess competing evidence, and weigh conflicting expert testimony” (In re: Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 19-1655, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 12899).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on April 24 cautioned that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine should not be used outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial due to the risk of serious heart rhythm problems.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on April 22 granted final approval to a $175 million shareholder derivative settlement with opioid drug distributor McKesson Corp. stemming from allegations that several of the company’s current and former senior officers and directors failed to conduct the necessary oversight of opioid drug sales, even after the company twice had been hit with fines for previous compliance failures, finding the proposed deal to be fair, reasonable and adequate (In re McKesson Corp. Derivative Litigation, No. 17-1850, N.D. Calif.).
CLEVELAND — In response to a motion by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for a clarification of discovery on remand of two West Virginia cases, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on April 17 said he believed that only “limited, jurisdiction-specific discovery” should be necessary (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 15 dismissed 34 Essure birth control device cases and granted partial summary judgment in others to defendant Bayer Essure Inc. (Helen McLaughlin v. Bayer Essure, Inc., et al., No. 14-7315, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57872).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 16 said she denied a motion in February to compel discovery in an 18-year-old false claims lawsuit, saying defendant Sanofi U.S. Services Inc. (also known as Sanofi Aventis) misrepresented that it was not aware until the day before discovery closed that materiality was an important consideration in the case (United States ex rel. Yoash Gohil v. Sanofi U.S. Services Inc., et al., No. 02-2964, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66869).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 denied certiorari to a plaintiff law firm that challenged how $550 million in pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation common benefit fees and costs were decided and whether plaintiff firms waived their right to appeal (Mazie, Slater, Katz & Freeman, LLC v. Common Benefit Fee and Cost Committee, No. 19-984, U.S. Sup.).
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A New York state court justice on April 16 denied without prejudice a motion by six opioid manufacturers to dismiss New York State’s public nuisance lawsuit (In Re Opioid Litigation, Index No. 400000/2017, N.Y. Supreme, Suffolk Co.).
CLEVELAND — The day after the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals trimmed dispensing claims from two opioid cases against seven pharmacy chains, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the underlying opioid multidistrict litigation on April 16 said trial on the surviving claims will still take place in November and he also ordered the parties to select another pharmacy case on all claims for an additional bellwether trial (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — Medical device maker Pentax Medical Co. on April 1 agreed to pay $43 million in a criminal fine and forfeiture for shipping duodenoscopes to health care providers without approved cleaning instructions and for failing to timely report adverse events associated with its devices, according to a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey (United States v. Pentax of America, Inc., et al., No. 20-mj-2054, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS — Biopharmaceutical company MiMedx Group Inc. has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle a false claims lawsuit that it charged inflated prices to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for tissue graft products, according to an April 6 stipulation and to announcements by the U.S. Justice Department and the company (United States ex rel. Jess Kruchoski, et al. v. MiMedx Group, Inc., No. 17-187, D. Minn.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 24 dismissed with leave to amend a false claims complaint alleging that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. used a sham speaker program to pay kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya (United States, ex rel. Steven M. Camburn v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 13-3700, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52914).
NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on March 23 awarded plaintiff attorneys a common benefit fee of $93 million and common benefit costs of 2.7 percent for the $775 million settlement affecting about 30,000 cases (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, No. 14-md-2592, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50440).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 granted a writ of mandamus to seven pharmacy chains in the opioid multidistrict litigation, ruling that the MDL judge erred in allowing two counties to file amended claims against them long after deadlines had passed (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation [In Re: CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al.], No. 20-3075, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11923).