WASHINGTON, D.C. — The State of Arizona on July 31 asked the U.S. Supreme Court for leave to file a case of original jurisdiction against opioid maker Purdue Pharma Inc. and members of the controlling Sackler family for illegally transferring assets to avoid expected liability from opioid crisis litigation (State of Arizona v. Richard Sackler, et al., No. n/a, U.S. Sup.).
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota federal judge presiding over the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation on July 31 closed all 5,145 cases after excluding four plaintiff experts and granting summary judgment for defendants 3M Co. and Arizant Healthcare Inc. (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2666, No. 15-md-2666, D. Minn.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
NEW YORK — The United States on July 22 intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that an orthopedic device manufacturer used various forms of kickbacks to get surgeons to commit to using its products (United States, et al., ex rel. BNHT LLC v. Life Spine Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, S.D. N.Y.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Five days after the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation judge finalized a common benefit fee and costs order, a plaintiff law firm on July 30 filed a motion to alter, amend or reconsider the underlying enabling order, arguing that the plaintiffs’ Fee and Cost Committee (FCC) unilaterally switched the method for reimbursement from lodestar to percentage, leaving firms without an avenue to appeal (In Re: Neomedic Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2511, No. 14-md-2511, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).
BASEL, Switzerland — Swiss drug maker Novartis International AG on July 18 said it is in settlement discussions to resolve false claims allegations with regard to three heart drugs and has recorded a provision of $700 million.
LOS ANGELES — Celebrity plaintiff attorney Michael J. Avenatti on July 15 was officially removed as class counsel in a California statewide surgical gown class action, and his replacements were ordered by a federal judge not to allow Avenatti to “control the strategy of the litigation” (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. CV 14-8390-DMG, C.D. Calif.).
BOSTON — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts on July 26 told a district court that it should deny a renewed motion for acquittal or a new trial by five high-ranking Insys Therapeutics Inc. employees who were found guilty of racketeering (United States v. Michael J. Gurry, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
BOSTON — The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing the Zofran birth defect multidistrict litigation on July 25 ordered plaintiffs’ counsel and a plaintiffs’ epidemiologist to produce to defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) documents the researcher used in writing a medical journal article on which the plaintiffs rely for causation and to disclose her communications and financial arrangements with plaintiffs’ counsel (In Re: Zofran [Ondansetron] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2657, No. 15-md-2657, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123913).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia federal judge overseeing seven pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation dockets on July 25 finalized an order approving $366 million in common benefit fees and expenses for 94 plaintiff law firms (In Re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2387, No. 12-md-2387, S.D. W.Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Attorney General’s Office on July 29 announced that drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will pay $69 million to settle allegations that it entered into pay-to-delay agreements to keep competing generic versions of the sleep drug Provigil off the market and to maintain a monopoly.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 24 remanded a lawsuit accusing AbbVie Inc. of violating California’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act when marketing Humira by paying kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the autoimmune disorder treatment, finding that the state is a real party in interest (California ex rel. Lazaro Suarez v. AbbVie Inc., No. 18-cv-06392-JD, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124463).
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on July 24 partially dismissed a plaintiff’s claims in a pelvic mesh lawsuit, ruling in part that three Food and Drug Administration warnings about the devices did not put a plaintiff on notice to file her claim earlier than she did (Carolyn Carpenter v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 18-2338, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122874).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 23 invited the judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation to respond to an emergency mandamus petition filed by two drug distributors seeking to vacate the MDL judge’s order allowing access to older drug distributer data collected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, No. 19-3682, 6th Cir.).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on July 15 lifted a protective order for ARCOS drug distribution data from before Dec. 31, 2012, saying there is “clearly no basis to shield the public view” of the data (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy court judge on July 24 denied a motion by four cities and counties to create an official committee of public entities in the Insys Therapeutics Inc. Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding (In Re: Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 19-11292, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on July 24 asked Allergan PLC to recall its Biocell textured breast implants due to the increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on July 23 denied a motion by three doctors to sever their criminal cases involving kickbacks allegedly taken to prescribe the opioid Subsys (United States v. Gordon Freedman, et al., No. 18-cr-217, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. 122647).
DALLAS — The Texas federal judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on July 22 granted a joint motion to reduce the common benefit holdback from 25 percent to the original 10 percent but ordered defendant DePuy Synthes Cos. to chip in an extra $139.6 million in fees and disclosed that DePuy estimates that its settlement of the litigation totals $950 million (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 18 partially dismissed a pelvic mesh injury case against Boston Scientific Corp., but allowed the plaintiff to refile certain claims (Autumn Zetz, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 19-451, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120223).