PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania state court jury on April 17 found that a TVT-Secur pelvic mesh device made by Ethicon Inc. was negligently designed but was not a factual cause of a woman’s claimed injuries (Malgorzata Krolikowski v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 140102704, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
New developments in the following mass tort drug and device cases are marked in boldface type.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court on March 27 denied review of an appeals court ruling excluding plaintiff experts in a Bair Hugger patient warming device case (In Re: 3M Bair Hugger Litigation, No. A18-0473, Minn. Sup., 2019 Minn. LEXIS 170).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — An Illinois federal judge on April 15 denied the United States’ motion to dismiss a false claims lawsuit allegedly brought by “professional relators” after the judge said “one could reasonably conclude that the proffered reasons for the decision to dismiss are pretextual and the Government’s true motivation is animus towards the relator” (United States, ex rel. CIMZHNCA, LLC v. UCB, Inc., et al., No. 17-765, S.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64267).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal court on April 2 stayed a false claims case against Boston Scientific Corp. after it and the relators told the court that they reached an agreement in principal to settle the case pending approval by the United States and a written agreement (United States of America, ex rel. Wendy A. Bahnsen, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 11-1210, D. N.J.).
NORMAN, Okla. — In an effort to keep a May 28 trial against two major opioid manufacturers on track, the Oklahoma attorney general on April 4 voluntarily dismissed certain claims without prejudice (Oklahoma, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. CJ-2017-816, Okla. Dist., Cleveland Co.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on April 16 ordered the last two manufacturers of pelvic mesh sold to treat pelvic organ prolapse to immediately stop selling their devices in the United States after the companies failed to demonstrate a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 4 denied a motion by 28 municipalities and native American tribes to vacate the conditional transfer of their opioid lawsuits to the opioid multidistrict litigation (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, JPMDL, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58890).
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on April 11 affirmed a $13.75 million pelvic mesh verdict against the Ethicon Inc. subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, rejecting the defendants’ various appeal issues along with the plaintiffs’ bid for delay damages for the $10 million punitive damage award (Sharon Carlino, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 1129 EDA 2016, Pa., Super., 2019 PA Super 114).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on April 12 said disclosing the source of execution drugs would create a substantial threat of physical harm to the source and its employees and need not be disclosed by the state government (Texas Department of Criminal Justice v. Maurie Levin, et al., No. 17-0552, Texas Sup., 2019 Tex. LEXIS 373).
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal jury on April 10 found the former owner of a compounding pharmacy guilty of felony and misdemeanor counts of shipping untested, under- or super-potent drugs, some of which caused narcotic overdoses in three infants (United States of America v. Paul J. Elmer, No. 17-cr-113, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on April 8 affirmed a magistrate judge’s ruling that plaintiffs in an HIV false claims lawsuit had not shown a right to know how the manufacturer profited from the drugs or that the information is relevant at this stage of the lawsuit (United States, ex rel. Jessica Penelow, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 12-7758, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60437).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on April 12 denied acquittal or a new trial for two of five New England Compounding Center (NECC) defendants found guilty in December of criminal charges related to the compounding and shipment of contaminated drugs (United States of America v. Gene Svirskiy, and United States of America v. Christopher Leary, No. 15-cr-10363, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63735 and 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63736).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on April 8 awarded 15 percent of a $46.5 million false claims recovery to one relator and none to seven other relators who filed lawsuits about the same conduct by drug maker Novo Nordisk Inc. (United States, ex rel. Lesley Ferrara, et al. v. Novo Nordisk, Inc., et al., No. 11-74, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59885).
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on April 10 reversed dismissal of a duodenoscope fatal infection case for lack of personal jurisdiction along with a forum non conveniens ruling in favor of three other defendants in the same case (Freeman Maurice Vaughan, Jr., et al. v. Olympus America, Inc., et al., No. 3010 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 334).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on April 10 denied a defense motion for a mistrial in the trial of five high-level Insys Therapeutics Inc. employees, finding that the prosecution did not introduce improper evidence and did not commit misconduct (United States v. Michael J. Gurry, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
ABINGDON, Va. — A federal grand jury in Virginia on April 9 indicted Indivior Inc. and Indivior PLC (collectively Individor) on criminal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and health care fraud for allegedly engaging in an illegal scheme to increase prescriptions of Suboxone Film, an opioid approved to treat patients for opioid addiction (United States v. Indivior Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cr-00016, W.D. Va., Abington Div.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on April 10 said it will hear an appeal by Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson about whether the U.S. Constitution and state law preclude state courts from asserting personal jurisdiction over the New Jersey companies in a case brought by an Indiana resident asserting claims under the Indiana Product Liability Act, Ind. Code, § 34-20-1-1 (Patricia L. Hammons, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 458 EAL 2018, Pa. Sup., 2019 Pa. LEXIS 2084).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on April 8 affirmed his March 19 order disqualifying counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in two cases because an attorney had access to confidential, nonpublic information related to the opioid crisis while she was a U.S. attorney (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59822).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 8 said South Carolina’s learned intermediary doctrine bars a plaintiff’s claim that two amiodarone manufacturers failed to warn his father about the risk of cardiac toxicity that led to the father’s death (Latham Sean Bean, et al. v. Upsher-Smith Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 17-2263, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10260).