NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma federal judge overseeing the state’s opioid trial against Johnson & Johnson on Oct. 15 acknowledged that he made a mathematical error when calculating his $572 million judgment (Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 8 dismissed with prejudice a Perclose vein closure device injury lawsuit in part because an affidavit filed by a purported plaintiff expert did not qualify as a “written instrument” as defined by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Andrea Irizarry, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., No. 18-4232, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177566).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 affirmed a federal trial court’s decision denying a stay of execution for an Ohio prisoner who says the state’s use of the sedative midazolam would cause an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual execution (In Re: Ohio Execution Protocol Litigation [Bennie Adams, et al. v. Mike DeWine, et al.], No. 19-3064, 6th Cir.).
CLEVELAND — Barring any last-minute settlements, on Oct. 21 six opioid defendants will face claims by two Ohio counties in the opioid multidistrict litigation that their distribution of opioids precipitated a public health addiction crisis (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 30 dismissed without prejudice a registered nurse’s lawsuit contending that the Ambassador Program implemented by AbbVie Inc. and Abbott Laboratories Inc. as part of its promotion of Humira violates the False Claims Act (FCA), finding that the plaintiff’s allegations do not establish that services provided to physicians as part of the program constitute kickbacks (United States, ex rel. Lazaro Suarez v. AbbVie Inc. et al., No. 15 C 8928, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169090).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 23 dismissed with prejudice two plaintiffs’ claims against silicone breast implant maker Mentor Worldwide LLC after finding that none of the plaintiffs’ claims parallels federal regulations and that the claims are preempted by federal law (Amber Books, et al. v. Mentor Worldwide, LLC, No. 19-2088, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161820).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Heart surgery patients who were possibly exposed to a latent bacterial infection allegedly caused by the Sorin 3T heater-cooler device will receive five years of free medical monitoring by the hospitals, according to a settlement agreement filed Oct. 11 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Edward Baker, et al. v. Sorin Group USA, Inc., No. 16-260, M.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 affirmed summary judgment in a silicone gel breast implant case, agreeing with a lower court that the plaintiff failed to raise a dispute of material fact that the manufacturer violated federal requirements or a parallel state requirement that escapes preemption (Nicole Weber v. Allergan, Inc., No. 18-15212, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30484).
BOSTON — The U.S. Justice Department on Oct 1 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to defer a restitution order for opioid manufacturing defendant Insys Therapeutics Inc. until at least Jan. 10 (United States v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., et al., No. 19-cr-10191, D. Mass.).
CLEVELAND — On the same day it was filed, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on Oct. 11 denied Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.’s motion to sever it from the Oct. 21 bellwether trial because it won’t have enough time to differentiate between its subsidiaries and other nonmanufacturing defendants (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio).
NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma attorney general on Oct. 10 urged a state court judge to enter his judgment of $572 million against Johnson & Johnson for the first year of the state’s opioid abatement plan and to deny the defendant’s motion for a new trial (Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma, et al., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.).
PHOENIX — The law firm for former Theranos Inc. CEO Elizabeth Holmes on Sept. 30 asked an Arizona federal court for permission to withdraw as defense counsel because it has not been paid for more than a year and has “no expectation that Ms. Holmes will ever pay it for its services as her counsel” (In Re: Arizona Theranos, Inc., Litigation, No. 16-2138, D. Ariz.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 9 dismissed without an opinion yet another challenge by a plaintiffs’ law firm to common benefit awards made by the federal court overseeing seven pelvic mesh multidistrict litigations (Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, No. 19-1943, 4th Cir.).
ATLANTA — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 denied two last-minute attempts to stop the Oct. 21 opioid multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, one on the basis of parens patriae by the state of Ohio and one by defendants who claim that the MDL judge is biased (In Re: State of Ohio, No. 19-3827, In Re: AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, et al., No. 19-3935, 6th Cir.).
ATLANTA — In a “close” 2-1 ruling, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 8 affirmed a $2.4 million compensatory/punitives judgment in a Mentor Corp. pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (Teresa Taylor v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-17147, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30159).
PHILADELPHIA — Free to do so after a state appeals court ruling, a Pennsylvania state court jury on Oct. 8 ordered Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to pay a Maryland man $8 billion in punitive damages in a Risperdal gynecomastia case (Nicholas Murray v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 130401990, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three plaintiffs on Oct. 3 asked a federal judicial panel to centralize five lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that Biocell textured breast implants made by Allergan PLC cause breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) (In Re: Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2921, JPMDL).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio judge presiding over the opioid multidistrict litigation on Sept. 27 allowed defendants in an upcoming bellwether trial to receive some information about prospective jurors that the defendants say they intend to use to seek a stay of the Oct. 21 trial (County of Summit, Ohio, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 18-op-45090, County of Cuyahoga v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 18-op-45004, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167387).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut state court judge on Sept. 11 denied post-verdict defense motions in a Pradaxa blood thinner injury trial and granted the plaintiff’s motion for punitive damages but awarded only $1 for attorney fees (Eugene Roberto v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. CV16-6068484S, Conn. Super., Hartford).