What Happened In The MassTorts World Last Month? 2018-Apr

Monday, Apr 30, 2018

The first Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Replacement lawsuit, which was tried before Judge Amy D. Hogue in L.A. County Superior Court in August 2015, resulted in the jury awarding the plaintiff a total of $9.2 million as the jury members agreed that defendant Zimmer Inc. failed to warn the medical community and the patients about the associated risks, manufacturing defectively designed units, and putting profit before the patient’s safety.  Zimmer Inc.’s motion for a new trial was granted by a trial judge on the grounds that the jury had reached a “hasty and excessive” verdict.

This verdict amount was reversed by a California appellate court on April 27 stating certain statements made by the plaintiff’s attorney may have led the jury to award excessive damages.

In March 2016, nearly all Durom Cup lawsuits were settled by Zimmer Inc. for an approximate amount $314 million. The court records show 261 cases still pending in the MDL as of March 2018.


Monday, Apr 30, 2018

With the expected rise in the size of the proton pump inhibitor MDL litigation and chances of the number doubling or even tripling in the coming years, the Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel submitted a written request on April 27 before presiding U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to select a group of cases to go for early trial within the next two years, starting in February 2020.

The defendants named in the PPI kidney injury litigation are AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Procter & Gamble Co., McKesson Corp., Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Pfizer Inc., and Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth.


In August 2017, the PPI lawsuits were centralized in the District of New Jersey before Judge Claire C. Cecchi for coordinated pretrial proceedings as a part of MDL No. 2789 (In Re:  Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation [No. II]).

More than 650 Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and Prevacid lawsuits involving over 4,000 claims have been filed against the defendant PPI drug manufacturers in the federal court system, each raising similar allegations that long-term use of the medications resulted in chronic kidney disease, renal failure, or other kidney problems.

 


Saturday, Apr 28, 2018

Philadelphia state jury overseeing the second Xarelto linked gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit announced the verdict in favor of the defendants Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. The plaintiff from New Jersey claimed his injury could have been avoided had he and the medical community be warned about the internal bleeding risks associated with Xarelto.

Xarelto lawsuits are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Eldon E. Fallon as a part of MDL No.- 2592. Currently, more than 22,000 Xarelto cases are pending in several courts across the country.


Friday, Apr 27, 2018

Come June, the first set of Abilify bellwether trials will begin. Judge M. Casey Rodgers presiding over the centralized Abilify litigation is pushing for the parties involved in the first three cases to settle the dispute before the trials begin. The judge has appointed Settlement Master Cathy Yanni to take this settlement matter further and ordered the parties’ legal representatives to meet as per the order released on April 25.

The first trial is scheduled to begin on June 18, followed by the second trial on August 6, and the third trial on August 27 to be convened at the federal court in Pensacola.

The Abilify lawsuits were centralized in October 2016 as a part of MDL No. 2734 (In Re: Abilify Compulsive Behavior Products Liability Litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, where more than 800 product liability lawsuits are pending against the defendant drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.


Friday, Apr 27, 2018

A product liability lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by a man from Indiana against Monsanto over the controversial weed killer Roundup. The man claims years of Roundup use resulted in his diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Allegations faced by Monsanto include failure to warn that exposure to Roundup may result in the diagnosis of NHL. The claim states despite having the knowledge about the potentially carcinogenic side effects of Roundup the company withheld the information.

The JPML established MDL No. 2741 (in re: Roundup Products liability litigation) in 2016 to be presided by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California to ease the pretrial discovery proceedings.


Thursday, Apr 26, 2018

Apart from thousands of Physiomesh lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary, there is a steady increase in the number of product liability lawsuits over their Ethicon Proceed hernia patch. Recently, a new case was filed in New Jersey Superior Court by Plaintiff James Williams who faced complications due to the Ethicon Proceed Ventral Patch used during a hernia repair surgery in July 2014, resulting in revision surgeries and putting him in a situation of facing additional risks and complications.
 
Allegations include failure to warn despite having the knowledge of the associated risks and adverse effects, defectively designed product, withholding crucial information from FDA and raising the chances of the risk of harm for individuals undergoing hernia repair.


Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018

The U.S. Federal Judge David G. Campbell, overseeing thousands of IVC Filter lawsuits centralized in the United States District Court District of Arizona, released a Case Management Order on April 18, allowing the plaintiff to present evidence of complications, testing, and design of the Recovery filter stating it would not result in a waste of time or confusion except. AT the same time, evidence that highlighted the deaths caused by cephalad migration of the Recovery filter was not allowed to be part of the supporting evidence.
 
This is the second Bard IVC filter lawsuit scheduled for a May 15, 2018, trial, filed by Plaintiff Doris Jones from Georgia, who was implanted with C.R. Bard’s Eclipse blood clot filter in 2010 to treat her recurrent deep vein thrombosis condition. A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 4 and the expected trial run is 3 weeks.


Saturday, Apr 21, 2018

The new-generation oral anticoagulants like Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Eliquis, launched as superior alternatives to Warfarin, have been linked to severe internal bleeding problems faced by thousands of users, which resulted in a significant number of deaths. This was owing to the fact, unlike Warfarin that had an antidote to control the bleeding, these new generation anticoagulants lacked the backup of a safe and effective reversal agent leaving many doctors helpless to control or stop the bleeding problems faced by many patients.

However, German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim, the makers of Pradaxa, announced recently that the FDA has finally given a full approval to Praxbind, an antidote developed by them to control bleeding caused by Pradaxa. This comes as a good news for the German drugmaker as it was embroiled in over 4,000 Pradaxa lawsuits and had to shell out $650 million in 2014 as an agreed settlement amount. Although lawsuits continue to be filed against these new generation anticoagulants, Pradaxa maker now has an advantage over its competitors, who have yet to come out with their antidotes.

 


Friday, Apr 20, 2018

Judge Daniel Polster, appointed to oversee the Opioid litigation, selected three lawsuits to face trial in March 2019 against the drug manufacturers and distributors named in the litigation. This decision was made to support his efforts for settlement by scheduling an aggressive bellwether schedule. The three cases selected are from the cities and counties that are filing cases against the drug companies.

On December 5, 2017, Opioid MDL: 2804 was established by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio.

The main defendants named in the litigation are opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Endo International Plc and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp.

Plaintiffs include cities, counties, and states alleging that the manufacturers of prescription opioid medications overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of the use of their opioids and aggressively marketed (directly and through key opinion leaders) these drugs to physicians; and the distributors failed to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse, and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates.

 


Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

Taxotere linked thousands of lawsuits were centralized in October 2016 under MDL No. 2740 (in re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation) before Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in the Eastern District of Louisiana; four cases have been selected to be a part of the first series of bellwether trials to begin in September.

With the mounting number of similar claims in New Jersey, a request for a centralized management has been requested by hundreds of women who filed their cases in New Jersey alleging that Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of the chemotherapy drug, failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk of permanent hair loss from using the breast cancer drug Taxotere.

 


Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

Two 3M Bair Hugger System cases were selected for the upcoming trial to begin on or after April 30, on the basis that the plaintiffs involved allegedly suffered infections caused by 3M’s Bair Hugger warming blankets used during their total knee replacement surgeries. Claims made by both the cases are similar that defendants 3M Company and its Arizant Healthcare subsidiary sold a dangerous and defectively designed product that caused severe and debilitating deep joint infections. The selected cases were filed by Plaintiff Louis Gareis from South Carolina, and Kurtis Skarr and his wife from Idaho.


In October 2017, Judge Joan N. Ericksen, presiding over the centralized litigation, MDL No: 2666, in the District of Minnesota, released an order for the case-specific discovery and disposition motions of these cases to be trial ready by April 30, 2018.
This month, Judge Ericksen denied a defense motion seeking to dismiss a design defect claim made by Plaintiff Gareis and also denied the defense request to exclude the plaintiff’s expert witness testimonies. The judge did grant the defence motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s failure to warn claims.  

 


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018

The New York-based, nine-week-long trial involving the death of the plaintiff due to asbestos exposure ended with the Manhattan jury ordering the defendants to pay $ 60 million to the family of the plaintiff. The claim states that the man was employed to rip the boilers that contained asbestos manufactured by A.O. Smith Corp., Burnham LLC, and Peerless Industries Inc. It was this exposure that led to his diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma in July 2015 and to his death a year later in 2016 at age 56. The lawsuit claims that the boiler companies knew about the health risks associated with asbestos, but did nothing to warn the public.


A call to reform the New York-based asbestos lawsuits was addressed by Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, as this verdict was nearly eight times the national average.  

 


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018

Growing number of Onglyza lawsuits are fast becoming a part of MDL No. 2809 established in February for coordinated pretrial proceedings. AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb are the defendants named in this litigation. Cases have been coordinated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky under District Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

Recently, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky by plaintiff Robert Curtis, who claims that the use of Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR led to the development of his heart failure and other related injuries, which could have been avoided if the drug makers had provided adequate warnings. His claim also details how the defendants continued to market Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR as safe and effective, in spite of being well aware of the heart failure risks.

 


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018

The reports of early failure and complications resulting in the need for hernia revision surgery involving Ethicon Hernia Mesh lead to the filing of hundreds of lawsuits by people across the nation against Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary. The product was recalled from the market worldwide in May 2016.

With the mounting number of similar claims in New Jersey, a request for a multicounty litigation (MCL) has been put before New Jersey Supreme Court, which if established would help in avoiding the need for individual trials and in managing the growing number of cases in the state.

In June 2017, MDL No.2782 (In re Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation) was established to centralize hundreds of complaints filed against the hernia mesh defendants Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary involving Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits for coordinated pretrial proceedings. The first trials are scheduled to begin in September 2019.

 


Saturday, Apr 14, 2018

Testosterone Replacement Therapy lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated discovery and management, as part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) 2545 (In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation). It comprises more than 6,500 TRT lawsuits filed against AbbVie, Actavis, Inc. (formerly Watson Pharmaceuticals), Eli Lilly and Company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Columbia Laboratories, and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.

Allegations include severe side-effects linked to TRT, such as heart attacks, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and other serious medical conditions.

Judge Kennelly issued a case management order (PDF) on April 10, identifying the first Actavis Work-Up Group to be ready for trial early next year. The group comprises 30 Androderm cases selected by both the parties which are to be prepared for February and March 2019 jury trials. The judge ordered that the selection of the second group of work-up cases is to be completed by May 15, and the third group by June 29, 2018.

Auxilium and Eli Lilly, the manufacturers of Testim and Axiron are working on finalizing settlements that will help in resolving more than 1,500 lawsuits involving their products.

 


Saturday, Apr 14, 2018

The first New Jersey Pelvic Mesh Trial convened before Bergen County Superior Court Judge James DeLuca awarded $35 Million to the Plaintiff as punitive damages, a day after the jury had announced $33 Million as compensatory damages to the plaintiff and her husband. The defendant pelvic mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc. has to pay a total of $ 68 Million for the design defects of Avaulta and Align Transvaginal Mesh implants that were received by the plaintiff to treat her bladder prolapse and stress incontinence but resulted in her suffering from chronic pain.

 


Friday, Apr 13, 2018

C.R. Bard Inc. was ordered to pay $33 million as compensatory damages to the plaintiff by the New Jersey state court in the first C.R. Bard Transvaginal Mesh trial that began mid-March. The award included $23 million in compensatory damages to plaintiff Mary McGinnis and $10 million to her husband Thomas McGinnis

The Plaintiff is a woman who received Bard’s TVM implants to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse (“POP”) or Stress. Urinary Incontinence that left her suffering from chronic pain. She holds Bard responsible, claiming the devices were defectively designed and manufactured.

The current trial in New Jersey took place before Bergen County Superior Court Judge James DeLuca. Following this decision, a second phase would be convened to determine the punitive damages to be awarded.

 


Friday, Apr 13, 2018

The rising number of Hernia Mesh cases against C.R. Bard urged a group of plaintiffs to file a motion with the JPML to centralize all Bard Ventralex and Bard Perfix hernia mesh lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

At least 60 hernia mesh lawsuits are pending in a number of different U.S. District Courts, each sharing one common factor: they are all made of synthetic polypropylene. Allegations raised are that polypropylene used in hernia mesh was dangerous and defective, leading to more chances of failure and need for a hernia revision surgery; individuals implanted with the mesh also experienced painful and debilitating complications.

A hearing is set for May 31 in Chicago or July 26 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when the U.S. JPML is expected to schedule oral arguments for the motion for consolidation.

 


Thursday, Apr 12, 2018

The jury overseeing the two-month-long Mesothelioma trial ordered J&J and its talc supplier to pay $80 million in punitive damages to Stephen Lanzo III and his wife seeking compensation for his diagnosis of Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lung) allegedly caused by the asbestos present in the company’s Talcum Powder used over a long period. The jury agreed that the defendants showed reckless indifference in selling their Talcum powder which contained the controversial asbestos ingredient. The total award amounts to $117 million, which includes $37 million in compensatory damages announced last week by the jury. The case was heard in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, County of Middlesex.


Thursday, Apr 12, 2018

Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary have to face yet another product liability lawsuit filed by a man from Texas for undergoing transmetatarsal and guillotine amputations of the right foot above the ankle. The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible for not adequately warning the users and the medical community about a large number of leg and foot amputation problems linked with Invokana.The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Invokana: MDL 2750, in re: Invokana (Canagliflozin) Products Liability Litigation) was created in December 2016 and is presided by Hon. Brian R. Martinotti, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; the first bellwether is scheduled for September 2018. Cases are also filed in state courts, primarily in California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

More than 1,000 Invokana lawsuits are currently pending the federal MDL and undergoing pretrial discovery phase.

 


Wednesday, Apr 11, 2018

After receiving nearly 12,000 adverse event reports related to the Essure birth control implant last year, the FDA decided to restrict the sales and distribution of the device to ensure that every woman who decides to receive the implant is first made fully aware about the associated risks. This move was fuelled by the fact that some women were not being adequately informed about the potential risks and complications, even after the addition of the black-box label warning and a patient checklist.

The new change makes it illegal for doctors to implant patients with the birth control device without both parties signing off that they have discussed the potential health risks. Essure lawsuits are filed against Bayer Healthcare in various federal and state courts throughout the nation, with the recent addition of another lawsuit filed by at least fifty plaintiffs from Texas, Florida, Illinois, and other states alleging that Essure birth implant caused severe injuries.

Thousands of Essure lawsuits are filed nationwide. In 2016, Judge Winifred Y. Smith, coordinated 55 cases before a single judge in Alameda County Superior Court under Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4887. Apart from this, several groups of Essure cases have been consolidated in other courts. At least 18 federal lawsuits are currently consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as of November 2016. However, Essure lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions.

 


Tuesday, Apr 10, 2018

Mirena Pseudotumor cerebri lawsuits, filed against Bayer Healthcare, are centralized as a part of MDL: 2767, established in April 2017, for coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Southern District of New York, before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. The MDL has over 400 product liability cases filed under it and is still in the growing stage.
The lawsuits are filed by women who allege that the intrauterine device (IUD) maker failed to adequately warn the medical community and the end users about the associated risks. Allegations raised against the IUD maker include that the device caused blurred vision, severe headaches, back pain,  and other symptoms related to pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), or idiopathic intracranial hypertension [IIH], a medical condition involving a dangerous build-up of fluid pressure around the brain.

The ‘Science Day’ hearing scheduled to convene on April 9 will educate the Court about the link between the Mirena implant and build-up of fluid pressure in the brain leading to severe complications. Judge Engelmayer is expected to review the presentations that will cover the female reproductive system, contraception, the Mirena IUD and how it’s used; how PTC/IIH affects patients, and how it is diagnosed and treated, as well as its incidence rate in the population. The hearing will also address different types of scientific evidence and how they apply to linking the Mirena to PTC/IIH injuries.

According to a court order (PDF) issued on March 30, Daubert hearings are scheduled for April 10 and 11, permissible to carry over to April 12 if need be.

 


Saturday, Apr 7, 2018

A woman from Tennessee has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, against Atrium Medical Corporation, Getinge AB, and Maquet Cardiovascular US Sales, LLC, over complications she faced after being implanted with Atrium C-Qur V-Patch that she received to treat an incarcerated ventral hernia. She now seeks compensation for injuries and complications for the same.

The plaintiffs involved in hernia patch lawsuits allege that Atrium knew or should have known about problems with the C-Qur V-Patch, but withheld information from consumers and the medical community. And that they quietly removed certain products from the market rather than issuing a formal Atrium C-Qur mesh recall. In December 2016, all Atrium C-Qur lawsuits were consolidated before U.S. District Judge Landya McCafferty in the District of New Hampshire, for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Judge McCafferty is expected to schedule a series of early “bellwether” trials.


Friday, Apr 6, 2018

The Mesothelioma trial running for over two months has finally ended with a jury ordering J&J and its talc supplier to cough up $37 million as compensatory damages. The case was filed by Stephen Lanzo III and his wife seeking compensation for his diagnosis of Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lung) allegedly caused by the inhalation of asbestos present in the company’s Talcum Powder used over decades. The jury was allotted time by Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi to return for punitive damages in this matter.

Though the defense counsel argued that there was no asbestos in talc evident by the reports of consistent testing using the most reliable and the best technology and methodologies available. However, the jurors concluded that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from using J&J's baby powder and/or Shower to Shower powder between 1972 and 2003 and that such exposure was a substantial factor in causing his illness.

J&J and Imerys maintained during the trial that the talcum powder products did not contain asbestos. The case was heard in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, County of Middlesex.

 


Friday, Apr 6, 2018

Testosterone Replacement Therapy lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated discovery and management, as part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) 2545 (In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation). According to the bellwether program established by Judge Kennelly, defendant AbbVie will face another trial in May for its product AndroGel. The plaintiff holds AbbVie responsible for the bilateral pulmonary embolism he suffered in February 2008 caused by the side effects of AndroGel. Last month, a federal jury ordered AbbVie to pay roughly $3.2 million to the plaintiff, who claims he suffered a heart attack while using AndroGel.

As AbbVie has shown no signs of settling the AndroGel lawsuits, the litigation will proceed as per schedule. Judge Kennelly released a court order on April 19, according to which he scheduled trials between October 2, 2018, and March 4, 2019, for 19 selected cases, to be presided by 12 U.S. District Judges. Decisions taken for the two upcoming AndroGel bellwether trials, scheduled for May and June trials, will influence these cases.


Friday, Apr 6, 2018

The second Bard IVC filter lawsuit is scheduled to begin on May 15, 2018, filed by a woman from Georgia, who was implanted with C.R. Bard’s Eclipse blood clot filter to treat recurrent deep vein thrombosis in 2010. A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 4 and the expected trial run is 3 weeks. As per the case management order, the trial will be conducted in two phases; the first phase will determine liability, compensatory damages, and whether punitive damages should be awarded and, if so, the second phase will be convened to determine the punitive damages amount to be awarded.

Thousands of IVC filter lawsuits are pending in consolidated action against C.R. Bard for its Recovery, G2, G2 Express, G2X, Eclipse, Meridian, and Denali IVC Filters, wherein the plaintiffs claim that due to the manufacturing and design defects, Bard filters are more harmful than other IVC filters and that Bard failed to forewarn about the higher risks. The cases were centralized in 2015 to coordinate the pre-trial proceedings under MDL 2641 (in re Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation) before U.S. District Judge David Campbell.

A Phoenix jury recently awarded $ 4 million to a woman for injuries caused by IVC filter manufactured by C.R. Bard Inc.

 


Thursday, Apr 5, 2018

Mid-April, Philadelphia County will witness the beginning of the second Xarelto linked gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit. The defendants named in this litigation, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., are relying heavily on the deposition testimonies made by two of the plaintiff’s doctors, who prescribed Xarelto to reduce the plaintiff’s risk of stroke. According to the testimony, the doctors were well aware of bleeding risks and stated that an additional warning regarding the risk of bleeding would not have changed their prescribing decisions.

In January, Common Pleas Judge Michael Erdos rejected a $28 million verdict awarded to the plaintiff based on the statements made by the prescribing doctor that she had known about the risks of the drug and would have prescribed it anyway even if stronger warnings had been provided. This was also the first of more than 1,700 Philadelphia County Xarelto Lawsuits to go before trial.

Xarelto lawsuits are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Eldon E. Fallon as a part of MDL- 2592 Xarelto Products Liability Litigation. Currently, more than 22,000 Xarelto cases are pending in several courts across the country.

 


Thursday, Apr 5, 2018

A metal-on-metal hip litigation, centralized since May 2017 and involving at least 200 Smith & Nephew Birmingham lawsuits, is witnessing a steady inflow of product liability cases. Recently, a lawsuit was filed by a Minnesota man in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for problems and injuries he suffered due to the metal hip implant. Last month the presiding judge, Judge Catherine C. Blake, rejected an attempt by the manufacturer to have the cases dismissed.

Hip replacement lawsuits continue to be filed under a related hip litigation involving Stryker Hip Lawsuits, centralized before U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani under MDL No. 2768 – In re Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation.

 


Thursday, Apr 5, 2018

A group of plaintiffs has filed a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for not updating the Talcum Powder label to warn the consumers, especially women, despite knowing about the associated ovarian cancer risks if used in the genitals and omitted it from the label. Though compensation is not requested for personal injury damages, the plaintiffs are demanding compensation for punitive damages, legal fees and costs, and any further relief as deemed proper by the court.

The main plaintiff claims had the company warned her about the safety of the talcum powder, she would not have purchased the product and believe in its safety. However, she suffered injury and lost money due to the prolonged use believing in the safety of the product.

 


Wednesday, Apr 4, 2018

Gauging filing Short Form Complaint would not suffice to handle the wave of expected PPI lawsuits, Co-Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs filed a proposed case management order (PDF), requesting temporary clubbing of at least 300 plaintiffs living in the same state on one complaint. Though the defendants have opposed this motion, the plaintiffs strongly feel it would allow the filing of a large number of claims before the statute of limitations date expire at the same time save capital and resource allocation.

The Proton Pump Inhibitor lawsuit defendants, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Procter & Gamble Co., McKesson Corp., Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Pfizer Inc., and Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth, are facing a growing number of lawsuits. The drugs in question include Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and others. The plaintiffs allege that PPIs cause kidney injuries including acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage renal disease. Each allegation holds the drug manufacturers responsible for withholding information about the risks associated with the long-term use of the acid-reflux medications. In August 2017, the PPI lawsuits were centralized in the District of New Jersey before Judge Claire C. Cecchi for coordinated pretrial proceedings under MDL No. 2789 (In Re:  Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation [No.II]).

In January, Judge Cecchi’s authorized the direct filing of future lawsuits in the MDL to avoid the delays associated with transferring claims from various district courts nationwide and standardize allegations raised in each case. Following this decision, the plaintiffs had two weeks to file a Master Complaint to outline all of the allegations against the manufacturers. Filing a Short Form Complaint was then allowed for individual plaintiffs giving the flexibility to adopt certain claims against the manufacturers applicable when initiating their case.


Tuesday, Apr 3, 2018

During the closing arguments of a Mesothelioma lawsuit, the counsel representing defendants Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America Inc., and Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., an Imerys predecessor, stated that the Talcum powder never contained asbestos.

The trial has been running for over two months, filed by plaintiff Stephen Lanzo III seeking compensation for his diagnosis of Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lung) allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos present as an ingredient in the company’s products. The defense counsel argued that there is no asbestos in talc as proven by the reports of consistent testing using the most reliable and the best technology and methodologies that were available.

This is the second related trial which began on January 22, 2018, in Middlesex County, New Jersey Superior Court. The first mesothelioma- talc trial ended in a defense verdict in November 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi presiding over this litigation also rejected J&J’s appeal for a mistrial stating the plaintiff attorney made improper comments to the jury.


Tuesday, Apr 3, 2018

A lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc America, and Personal Care Products Council in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts by a woman from Massachusetts, who alleges that the long-term use of the Talcum Powder and Shower- to- Shower resulted in her diagnosis of a serious type of ovarian cancer. The allegations include that the defendants failed to warn women about the risks associated with the application of talcum powder around the genitals. The manufacturers, on the other hand, have yet not made any significant label changes and have shown no signs of settlements for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

J&J is defending nearly 7,000 Talcum Powder lawsuits nationwide, filed by women who claim they developed ovarian cancer due to the long-term use of products promoted for feminine hygiene by the defendants. The motley of lawsuits are filed under MDL No. 2738- In re Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation formed in 2016, presided by Hon. Freda L. Wolfson, U.S.D.J./ Hon. Lois H. Goodman, U.S.M.J., in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; hundreds of lawsuits are also filed in Missouri 22nd Circuit Court, St. Louis; and cases are also filed in California and Delaware state courts.


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