SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 reversed dismissal of a Smith & Nephew Inc. metal-on-metal hip complaint, saying the plaintiff has or can make plausible claims that the manufacturer failed to warn about early failure rates of its Birmingham Hip Replacement (BHR) hip implants (Lori Spellman v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., No. 17-15351, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15878).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Theranos Inc. Founder Elizabeth A. Holmes and former company chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were arraigned June 15 on federal criminal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against investors, doctors and patients doing business with the medical device company (United States v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, et al., No. 18-cr-258, N.D. Calif.).
WOBURN, Mass. — A Massachusetts state court jury on June 14 returned a defense verdict in a Boston Scientific Corp. pelvic mesh trial (Ana Martinez, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., No. 12-3081, Mass Super., Middlesex Co.).
ATLANTA — Efforts by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. to obtain summary judgment on claims by the Federal Trade Commission that Solvay violated antitrust laws with reverse payments designed to prevent entry to the market of generic AndroGel were unsuccessful June 14, when a Georgia federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation found that the government has adequately pleaded that Solvay conspired to restrain trade (In re: AndroGel Antitrust Litigation No. II, MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99716).
CHICAGO — An Illinois state appeals court on June 14 affirmed that a plaintiff’s claims involving an implanted drug pump are preempted, finding that the plaintiff failed to conduct discovery afforded her and to file an amended complaint that might have escaped preemption (Tracey Benyak v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 1-17-2147, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 998).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on June 13 ordered the parties to submit briefs on whether the court should allow two newspaper groups to access drug distribution records being produced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the ongoing settlement negotiations (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio).
CHICAGO — The fifth AndroGel multidistrict litigation bellwether trial ended June 14 with a verdict for defendants AbbVie Inc. and Abbott Laboratories (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Robert Rowley, et al. v. AbbVie, Inc., et al., No. 15-2760, N.D. Ill.).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas judicial panel on Jan. 13 granted a motion by opioid defendants to centralize lawsuits by Texas counties into a multidistrict litigation (In Re: Texas Opioid Litigation, MDL No. 18-0358, Texas MDL).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on June 11 dismissed an amended shareholder complaint in its entirety and with prejudice, ruling that lead plaintiffs failed to plead falsity or scienter in making their federal securities law claims against an animal pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives (In re Aratana Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-880, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98535).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California state appeals court on June 13 affirmed a $9.82 million compensatory verdict in a defective Ethicon surgical stapler case but reduced the punitive damages award from $70 million to $19.6 million after finding that the original amount was constitutionally excessive (Florence Kuhlmann, et al. v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery LLC, et al., No. A147945, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4011).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Intuitive Surgical Inc. on June 13 announced that it reached an agreement in principle to settle a securities class action for $42.5 million (In Re: Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Finding no abuse or error in a federal judge’s exclusion of the causation opinions of three experts for thousands of women seeking to hold Pfizer Inc. liable for their diabetes, which they say was caused by using the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 affirmed a summary judgment ruling against the plaintiffs (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin calcium] Products Liability Litigation, Nos. 17-1140, 17-1136, 17-1137, 17-1189, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15752).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 reversed summary judgment in a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit after finding that the trial court applied the wrong Kansas statute of repose (Joseph W. Ehrenfelt v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 17-5292, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15650).
DUBLIN, Ireland — Endo International PLC on June 11 announced that its Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals LLP subsidiaries have entered into a master settlement agreement to resolve “all known” testosterone replacement therapy product liability claims.
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on June 8 affirmed that a father’s claim that his son’s overdose death was caused by the off-label promotion of the opioid Actiq are preempted by federal law (Joseph A. Caltagirone, et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 1301 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 628).
VALBY, Denmark — H. Lundbeck A/S on June 6 announced that its U.S. subsidiary Lundbeck LLC has reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle an investigation into the domestic subsidiary’s donations to independent patient assistance charitable foundations for $52.6 million, according to a company press release.
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on June 4 assigned a magistrate judge to work with Native American tribes to develop a separate track for tribal claims (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia federal judge on May 31 granted partial summary judgment in a Pradaxa death case, saying the plaintiffs cannot argue that the lack of an antidote for the anticoagulant is a design defect (Claude R. Knight, et al. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 15-6424, S.D. W.Va., Huntington Div., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92764).
CHICAGO — An AndroGel multidistrict litigation bellwether trial got under way on June 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Robert Rowley, et al. v. AbbVie, Inc., et al., No. 15-2760, N.D. Ill.).