What Happened In The MassTorts World Last Week? 2018-Jul-09

Friday, Jul 6, 2018

In a supplemental memorandum filed on June 18, the plaintiffs in the DePuy hip multidistrict litigation requested permission to conduct trial preservation depositions for 11 defense witnesses. The plaintiffs asserted that the ongoing discovery, revelations, and new scientific literature warrant such depositions. The request was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

DePuy and its parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson have been accused of failing to warn about device dislocation, loosening, and metallosis often requiring revision surgery. More than 9,400 Pinnacle hip lawsuits are pending in the federal court.

Other hip implant lawsuits include cases against Stryker hip replacement systems which are consolidated as a part of multidistrict litigation, MDL No. 2768 ( In Re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation) in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts before U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani.

Friday, Jul 6, 2018

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) provider AbbVie Inc. recently managed to overturn a $140.1 million verdict for a man who accused the company of hiding the adverse effects of its TRT drug AndroGel, which caused him a cardiac arrest.

In reversing the October verdict Judge Matthew Kennelly stated the jury 's findings on Tennessee resident Jeffrey Konrad's claims are inconsistent with its decision to find AbbVie not liable on another claim as both involved determining if AndroGel was harmful and induced his heart attack. Judge Kennelly wrote, “When this happens, the court cannot accept one of the two inconsistent verdicts while discarding the other; both of them have to go". AbbVie Inc faces more than  4,500 lawsuits claiming the company did not forewarn about the risks of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots that could occur from using AndroGel.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois as a part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2545; In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation).

Friday, Jul 6, 2018

A case management order issued by Judge Matthew Kennelly on June 29, confirmed that Actavis has agreed to settle all Androderm lawsuits filed by men claiming they suffered a heart attack, stroke or other injuries as side effects of their testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drug. As per the order, about 500 of the testosterone claims pending in the multidistrict litigation (MDL 2545; In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation) involve Androderm.

Though no potential settlement order has been released, Judge Kennelly cited putting a stay on all Androderm claims against Actavis would allow parties to dedicate time and energy to finalize the agreement. The first bellwether trial date (August 6, 2018) for Androderm lawsuits has not been vacated yet.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois as a part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2545; In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation).

Friday, Jul 6, 2018

In a case management order issued on June 28, Judge David Campbell presiding over the established Bard IVC filter MDL confirmed three lawsuits as the next bellwether trials filed by Carol Kruse, Lisa and Mark Hyde, and Debra Mulkey. The trials are scheduled for September 2018, November 2018, and February 2019, respectively.

The first bellwether trial against Bard concluded with a $3.6 million verdict favoring plaintiff Sherr-Una Booker, while the jury sided the defendant in the second bellwether trial on June 1, 2018. Lawsuits claim blood clot filters sold by C.R. Bard are defectively designed and tend to rupture and injure internal organs.

More than 3,500 Bard IVC lawsuits are filed against the manufacturer, which were centralized as part a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2641; In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation) on August 17, 2015, in the U.S. District Court District of Arizona. The outcome of these bellwether trials will be closely observed by other parties involved in the litigation for proceeding with eventual settlement negotiations.

Tuesday, Jul 3, 2018

According to a recent stipulation order, a process has been established to allow Plaintiffs' counsel to toll the statute of limitations concerning potential Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Protonix lawsuits. This move asserts that limited information would be provided to the drug makers about individuals who used a PPI drug and suffered kidney injury, so as to allocate more time for case investigation and review before an actual lawsuit is filed.

Starting from July 31, 2018, a spreadsheet would be submitted monthly, every last Tuesday, with certain information about each case, which would pause the statute of limitation until January 31, 2019, for federal cases and until May 31, 2019, for state cases. The order stated, cases selected for first Tolling List of July 31, 2018, will be tolled as of April 16, 2018, assuming those plaintiffs retained their counsel on or before April 16, 2018. For those plaintiffs who retained counsel after April 16, 2018, tolling will be the date they retained counsel. As per the agreement, the plaintiffs entering the tolling process are supposed to provide precise evidence regarding PPI drug use and their alleged kidney injury within 7 business days of filing the complaint. After the expiration of the agreement, the plaintiffs are required to submit Plaintiff Fact Sheets and other documents.

More than 4,500 product liability lawsuits are filed against PPI drug makers in the federal court over claims of kidney injury risks. It is expected that more than 10,000 cases would be presented by former drug users, as they now realize the cause of their complications due to the use of Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid or another PPI. PPI lawsuits were centralized as part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2789; In Re: Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation [No. II]) overlooked by Judge Claire C. Cecchi in the District of New Jersey.

Monday, Jul 2, 2018

Several plaintiffs filed a transfer motion on June 19 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) indicating a multidistrict litigation (MDL) be formed for Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology and VerSys Femoral Head used for hip replacement surgeries. The group of plaintiffs requested that the cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide should be assigned to Judge Donovan W. Frank in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Oral arguments concerning the motion would be heard on September 27, 2018, in San Francisco, California, JPML indicated.

The centralization would help reduce duplicate discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial schedules, and would be convenient for the parties, witnesses, and the judicial system. Zimmer lawsuits filed across the nation claim that the Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis and Zimmer VerSys Hip femoral head are defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous when paired together, with a tendency to corrode and leave metal pieces that perforate into the tissue and blood resulting in the implants failing and needing to be removed. Zimmer Hip Replacement lawsuits were centralized on June 9, 2010, in the U.S District of New Jersey before Judge Susan D. Wigenton as a multidistrict litigation MDL No. 2158 (In Re: Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Products Liability Litigation).


Monday, Jul 2, 2018

A Missouri Court of Appeals dismissed a $55 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson over a lawsuit filed by Gloria Ristesund claiming her diagnosis of ovarian cancer was due to J&J's talcum powder used for feminine hygiene. The unanimous three-judge panel overturning the verdict did not rule on the merits of the allegations.

The judges reasoned that the verdict could not stand considering a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision that restricted where plaintiffs could file a lawsuit. The decision asserts State Courts cannot hear claims against the companies which are not based in the state or where the alleged injuries did not occur. J&J is a New Jersey-based company while Plaintiff Ristesund used the products in South Dakota and Minnesota exclusively. During the appeals process, she requested a chance to provide additional evidence connecting J&J and Missouri, but the jury ruled out the request stating there was enough opportunity over the past two years to do so. A multidistrict litigation involving ovarian cancer claims (MDL No. 2738; In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation) was formed in 2016 in the District of New Jersey.

In a recent order, Superior Court State Judge Ana C. Viscomi denied the motion filed by Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America to dismiss a $117 million verdict favoring a man who claimed that prolonged use of J&J's talcum powder caused his mesothelioma. Lawsuits are filed in the State Courts of  New Jersey, California and Delaware alleging the baby powder manufacturer and suppliers over asbestos-linked mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

Monday, Jul 2, 2018

The pharmaceutical giant AbbVie owes $448 million in an antitrust case after U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle ruled that the AndroGel partner used sham litigation to block the generic versions of their testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drug from getting to the market. The antitrust lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 against AbbVie and its partner Besins Healthcare Inc., accusing them of filing baseless patent infringement lawsuits in 2011.

AbbVie and Besins entered into a pay-for-delay settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Perrigo Company which would delay generic drug competition. Judge Bartle stated, "the FTC has established the actual market reality that defendants possessed monopoly power and illegally and willfully maintained that monopoly power through the filing of sham litigation.''

Nearly 6,000 cases are pending in the TRT multidistrict litigation, alleging that the products led to complications like cardiac arrest, stroke and sudden death. Earlier, two jury trials over AbbVie Inc.'s AndroGel have ended in a multimillion-dollar verdict against the company. Other defendants in the litigation include Abbott Laboratories Inc., Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., Pfizer Inc., Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., and Actavis Inc. Recently Actavis Incorporation announced plans to settle cases over its TRT drug Androderm, accusing them of failure to warn men about side effects. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly stated both the attorneys had reached a memorandum of understanding for a global settlement.



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