SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Dec. 3 dismissed claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action asserted by a patient who alleged that she was injured by a defective device that was implanted to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, holding that she failed to assert sufficient facts to show that the maker of the product knew that it was defective (Sandra Broge v. ALN International Inc., No. 17-cv-07131, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204486).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 6 denied a motion to create a new, separate “opioid baby” multidistrict litigation, saying it would overlap with the current national opioid MDL (In Re: Infants Born Opioid-Dependent Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2872, JPMDL).
BOSTON — Actelion Pharmaceuticals US Inc. has agreed to pay $360 million plus interest to resolve federal allegations that it paid kickbacks through a charitable foundation to illegally pay drug co-pays for Medicare patients taking the company’s pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) drugs, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts announced in a settlement released Dec. 6.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal jury on Dec. 5 began deliberations in the trial of six defendants in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) criminal case after the defendants presented no witnesses or evidence (United States v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
BOSTON — Medical device maker ev3 Inc. agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor federal criminal charge of distributing an adulterated device and to pay $17.9 million in fines and forfeiture, the U.S. Justice Department said Dec. 4 in a press release (United States v. ev3, Inc., No. 18-cr-10461, D. Mass.).
LONDON — Diabetes drugs belonging to the sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) class are associated with an increased risk of lower limb amputation and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared to drugs of the preceding class, known as glucagon-like peptide-1s (GLP1s), according to a cohort study published in the Nov. 14 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2018; 363:k4365).
NEW YORK — The New York federal judge overseeing the Mirena brain injury multidistrict litigation on Nov. 13 said the litigation should proceed to summary judgment in light of his exclusion of the plaintiffs’ general causation experts (In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2767, No. 17-md-2767, S.D. N.Y.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on Nov. 21 dismissed West Virginia state consumer law, antitrust and unjust enrichment class action claims after the plaintiffs failed to identify an in-state defendant (In Re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198462).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. solicitor general on Nov. 30 urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a federal circuit court ruling that sent a whistleblower case against HIV drug maker Gilead Sciences back to a federal district court (Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Jeffrey Campie, et al., No. 17-936, U.S. Sup.).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Nov. 29 recommended that the court deny dismissal of a pelvic mesh case against Boston Scientific Corp., at one point rejecting the defense’s suggestion that the device’s risks and complications are so well known that the plaintiff should have filed suit after implantation (Tonya Wallace v. Boston Scientific Corp., et al., No. 18-1839, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203441).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Saying there are only 12 active cases remaining out of an initial 11,800, the Illinois federal judge overseeing the Yasmin/Yaz multidistrict litigation on Nov. 20 discharged the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) and said he will wind down the MDL by January (In Re: Yasmin and Yaz Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2100, No. 09-md-2100, S.D. Ill., E. St. Louis Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Drug manufacturers sued because they make drugs containing valsartan on Nov. 20 supported centralization of federal lawsuits alleging economic injuries but not those alleging personal injuries in a multidistrict litigation (In Re: Valsartan NDMA Contamination Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2875, JPMDL).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Teva Pharmaceuticals on Nov. 27 became the eighth drug company to voluntarily recall valsartan-containing drugs because of the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a possible human carcinogen, the Food and Drug Administration announced.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 30 remanded to the DePuy ASR hip multidistrict litigation court a dispute over whether a master settlement agreement governs an attorney fee application and supersedes a state court arbitration award of more than 62 percent (Andrea K. Drake, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 18-3020, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33631).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 29 denied a motion by Bristol-Myers Squibb Corp. (BMS) to dismiss a False Claims Act, 31 U.S. Code § 3729, lawsuit alleging that it engaged in two schemes to underpay statutorily required drug rebates to Medicaid (United States of America, ex rel. Ronald J. Streck v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, No. 13-7547, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203656).
DALLAS — DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. on Nov. 30 told the Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation it opposes the Plaintiff Executive Committee’s (PEC) request to increase the 10 percent holdback from recent case inventory settlements, saying the PEC is attempting to “hijack and disrupt these settlements just to enrich its members at the expense of the rest of the MDL lawyers” (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Contrary to a drug company’s assertion, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision affirming exclusion of a mother’s causation experts in her attempt to hold the drugmaker liable for her child’s birth defects “creates a wide divergence from other courts” and will have “a profound effect upon thousands of litigants,” making certiorari proper, the mother argues in her Nov. 27 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (N.K. v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 18-327, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4422).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arguments about whether the Food and Drug Administration rejected a stronger warning about leg fractures on the label of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 7, according to an argument schedule released Dec. 3 (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Doris Albrecht, et al., No. 17-290, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS — DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. is settling 2,965 cases involving the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip, according to a Nov. 29 order by the Texas federal judge who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).