BOSTON — An unlicensed pharmacy technician on April 13 pleaded guilty to nine counts of wire fraud for his role in preparing a drug that stop hearts during surgery while working at the defunct New England Compounding Center (NECC) (United States v. Scott M. Connolly, No. 15-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 affirmed a district court’s Aug. 10 ruling denying a temporary restraining order to a drug manufacturer to prevent Nebraska from using one of its alleged drugs in a scheduled Aug. 14 execution (Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC v. Nebraska, et al., No. 18-2717, 8th Cir., No. 18-3109, D. Neb.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A former Insys Therapeutics Inc. on Aug. 8 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), for paying physicians sham speaker fees in exchange for prescribing the opioid Subsys (United States v. Jeffrey Pearlman, No. 17-cr-27, D. Conn.).
HAMMOND, Ind. — An Indiana federal judge on Aug. 8 declined to disturb a $10 million compensatory verdict in an Ethicon pelvic mesh case but said the plaintiff can accept a reduction of her $25 million punitive award to $10 million or face a new trial on punitives only (Barbara Kaiser, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 17-114, N.D. Ind., Hammond Div.).
PHOENIX — Drug maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. on Aug. 8 announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Justice Department to settle civil and criminal investigations into “inappropriate sales and commercial practices by some former company employees.”
CHICAGO — The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone multidistrict litigation on Aug. 7 said he anticipates having a discussion about settlement with AbbVie Inc. at an Aug. 9 hearing (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
AUSTIN, Texas — AstraZeneca LP has agreed to pay $110 to resolve two Texas state Medicaid fraud lawsuits for the wrongful promotion of the antipsychotic drug Seroquel and the statin drug Crestor, the Texas attorney general’s office announced Aug. 7 (State of Texas, ex. rel. Allison Zayas, et al. v. AstraZeneca, L.P., et al., No. D-1-GN-13-003530, State of Texas, ex rel. Layne D. Foote, et al. v. AstraZeneca, L.P., et al., No. D-1-GV-13-000812, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
CLEVELAND — Forty-five small hospitals on Aug. 3 told the opioid multidistrict litigation court that it should deny a motion by opioid manufacturers and distributors to exclude them from the first bellwether trial, saying they are on the front line of the opioid epidemic and are burdened with providing care that is uncompensated or undercompensated (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MLD Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty federal plaintiffs on July 31 asked a federal judicial panel to centralize their linear gadolinium injury case in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In Re: Linear Gadolinium-Based Contract Agents Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2868, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judicial panel on Aug. 2 centralized 112 Davol Inc./C.R. Bard Inc. hernia mesh lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation before Judge Edmund A. Sargus of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (In Re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc. Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2846, JPMDL.)
AUSTIN, Texas — Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay $13.25 million to settle a whistleblower’s Medicaid fraud case concerning the Lidoderm shingles pain patch, a plaintiff law firm announced Aug. 1 (Plaintiffs Under Seal v. Defendant, No. D-1-GN-15-001782, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 100 federal lawsuits alleging injuries from the Zostavax shingles vaccine were centralized Aug. 2 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) in a multidistrict litigation before Judge Harvey Bartle III in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (In Re: Zostavax [Zoster Vaccine Live] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2848, JPMDL).
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme Court on Aug. 1 unanimously agreed that two plaintiff experts were properly excluded from testifying in the state’s consolidated Accutane litigation, a ruling that reinstates the dismissal of 2,076 cases (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 1-25 September Term 2017 079958, N.J. Super., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 988).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge on July 18 reversed an award in a vaccine infant death case, finding that the special master set too low a bar for the petitioners (Chase Boatmon, et al. v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 13-611V, Fed. Clms., 2018 U.S. Claims LEXIS 832).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on July 24 dismissed an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter case because the plaintiff failed to identify elements of her claims against manufacturer B. Braun Medical Inc. (Ana Quintana v. B. Braun Medical Inc., et al., No. 17-6614, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. 123718).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania state court judge on July 24 denied a motion by Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to recuse himself from an upcoming pelvic mesh case because his unidentified mother is a plaintiff in an unidentified product liability case in an unidentified court that the defendants say involves a Johnson & Johnson product (Diana Perigo v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 18072825, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
TEXARKANA, Texas — A Texas federal judge on July 31 dismissed one relator in a False Claims Act/Anti-Kickback Act lawsuit against five drug defendants and conditionally dismissed some claims without prejudice (Health Choice Group, LLC, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 17-126, E.D. Texas).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York state court justice presiding over the state’s opioid litigation docket on July 17 denied a motion by eight distributors to dismiss a consolidated complaint by nine counties (In Re: Opioid Litigation, No. 400000/2017, N.Y. Sup., Suffolk Co., 2018 NYLJ LEXIS 2588).
MINNEAPOLIS — 3M Co. and Arizant Healthcare Inc. on July 18 opposed Louis Gareis’ motion for a new trial in his Bair Hugger patient warmer lawsuit, saying that the court’s pretrial rulings are all within the court’s discretion and that they supported the jury’s defense verdict (Louis Gareis, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-4187, D. Minn.).