HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia federal jury on Oct. 17 awarded the family of a deceased woman $1.25 million in compensatory and punitive damages after finding that defendant Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. acted fraudulently and caused injuries from the anticoagulant Pradaxa (Claude R. Knight, et al. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 15-6424, S.D. W.Va., Huntington Div.).
JACKSON, Miss. — In a fractured interlocutory appeal ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 18 affirmed a trial court ruling denying a motion by several opioid drug makers to transfer venue of the state’s civil case against them to other courts based on the location of corporate registered agents (Purdue Pharma L.P., et al. v. Mississippi, No. 2017-IA-00300-SCT, Miss. Sup., 2018 Miss. LEXIS 415).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 16 denied a motion to reconsider the unsealing of a False Claims Act, 31 U.S. Code § 3729, complaint against a medical supplier, noting that the seal on the case has been extended 10 times and the parties face no harm by being identified (United States, ex rel. Jean Brasher v. Pentec Health Inc., No. 13-5745, E.D. Pa.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Minnesota on Oct. 16 filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit against three insulin makers, alleging that they manipulate their prices to the curry favor with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) but then jack up insulin prices for patients who aren’t covered by health insurance programs (Minnesota, et al. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, et al., No. 18-14999, D. N.J.).
CINCINNATI — Corporate successors to former plaintiff attorney Stanley M. Chesley on Oct. 3 agreed to pay $19,192,356 to settle claims by Kentucky fen-phen plaintiffs that Chesley and his former firm in 2002 improperly took $7.55 million in fees from a Kentucky state court settlement (Connie McGirr, et al. v. Thomas F. Rehme, et al., No. 16-464, S.D. Ohio, Western Div.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
JACKSBORO, Tenn. — A Tennessee state court judge on Oct. 5 dismissed claims by seven Tennessee district attorneys against four opioid manufacturers for alleged violations of the Tennessee Drug Dealer Liability Act (DDLA), finding that drug manufacturers cannot be defined as illicit drug dealers (Jared Effler, et al. v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al., No. 16596, Tenn. Cir., Campbell Co., 2018 Tenn. Cir. LEXIS 319).
NEW ORLEANS — Plaintiff attorneys who reached a $23 million consumer settlement in the Vioxx multidistrict litigation will receive $4.25 million in fees, or 18.5 percent of the settlement, according to a Sept. 26 order signed by the Louisiana federal judge who presides over the litigation (In Re: Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1657, No. 05-md-1657, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165201).
SHREVEPORT, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 2 dismissed with prejudice a claim involving a broken heart guidewire because the plaintiffs have not provided any medical causation expert testimony (Minor S. Patton, Jr., et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., No. 15-1976, W.D. La., Shreveport Div., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170592).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 15 announced that it has classified the recall of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) device as Class I, meaning it has the highest right of causing serious injury or death.
BATON ROUGE, La. — In a 3-2 decision, a Louisiana state appeals court on Oct. 3 vacated dismissal of the state attorney general’s lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. for allegedly causing the state to pay for the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) when the defendants knew that the drug carried a significant risk of bladder cancer (State of Louisiana, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., et al., No. 2017 CA 0498, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 275).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge overseeing the NuvaRing birth control device multidistrict litigation on Oct. 3 granted a motion to conclude the resolution program (In Re: NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1964, No. 08-md-1964, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 12 denied a motion by two former Theranos Inc. top executives to have a U.S. attorney’s office cease and desist from enforcing a grand jury subpoena issued to their former company (United States of America v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, et al., No. 18-258, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176120).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 15 reversed certification of a class that alleges that former drug maker Warner Chilcott violated state consumer laws by withdrawing the drug Asacol before its patent expired and introducing a similar drug with patent protection and blocking the introduction of cheaper Asacol generic competitors (In Re: Asacol Antitrust Litigation, United Food and Commercial Workers Unions, et al. v. Warner Chilcott Limited, et al., No. 18-1065, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28920).
BOSTON — One of six defendants on trial in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) criminal case moved to acquit himself on one count after the federal government made its opening arguments on Oct. 15 (United States v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judicial panel on Oct. 11 said it will hear arguments on Nov. 29 on centralizing seven federal lawsuits alleging that opioid makers and distributors are liable for infants born with opioid withdrawal symptoms due to their mothers’ use of narcotic painkillers during pregnancy (In Re: Infants Born Opioid-Dependent Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2872, JPMDL).
BOSTON — The trial of six of the eight remaining criminal defendants in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) criminal case will begin Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (United States v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
IRVINE, Calif. — Liveyon LLC on Oct. 10 announced that it has voluntarily recalled its ReGen Series stem cell products after the Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 28 told the company about possible adverse reactions among patients using the drug.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota federal judge overseeing the fluoroquinolone multidistrict litigation on Oct. 11 stayed all proceedings for defendants Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc. for 60 days (In Re: Fluoroquinolone Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2642, No. 15-md-2642, D. Minn.).
NEW YORK — The New York attorney general’s office on Oct. 11 said Pfizer Inc. will pay $700,000 to settle an allegation that the drug maker promoted drug co-payment programs promising that customers would pay no more than $15 when plaintiffs were told by pharmacies that the drugs could cost them far more.