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Judge Urges Resolution After $454M Surgical Gown Verdict For California Class
LOS ANGELES - Moments after a California federal jury returned a $454 million verdict in a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the judge on April 7 urged the parties to try to resolve the dispute to avoid having the matter go on "for many years further after today's verdict" (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly Clarke Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



$2M Awarded In Zimmer Metal-On-Metal Hip Case After Bench Trial
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico state court judge on March 31 awarded $2 million to a plaintiff who was injured by a metal-on-metal hip made by Zimmer Inc. (Michael Brian McDonald, Ph.D., v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., No. D-202-CV-2013-04060, N.M. Dist., Bernalillo Co.).



Hip Maker Asks 11th Circuit For En Banc Rehearing Of $2.1M Verdict
ATLANTA - Wright Medical Technology Inc. on April 10 petitioned the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for an en banc rehearing of a panel's March 20 affirmation of a $2.1 million verdict in the first Conserve hip trial (Robyn Christiansen, et al. v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., No. 16-12162, 11th Cir.).



33 Stryker LFIT Hip Cases Centralized In MDL In District Of Massachusetts
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Thirty-three federal lawsuits alleging defects in the Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral head hip device were centralized April 5 before U.S. Judge Indira Talwani of the District of Massachusetts (In Re: Stryker Orthopaedics LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2768, JPMDL).



Smith & Nephew BHR Hip Cases Sent To Multidistrict Litigation In District Of Maryland
WASHINGTON, D.C. - About 30 federal lawsuits involving Smith & Nephew's Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) hip implant were centralized April 5 before Chief Judge Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (In Re: Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing [BHR] Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2775, JPMDL).



Nonsuit Granted In Risperdal Gynecomastia Trial By Pennsylvania Judge
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court judge on April 17 granted a defense motion for a compulsory nonsuit in a Risperdal gynecomastia trial at the close of the plaintiff's case (Dean Hibbs v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 130600861, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



Theranos To Pay $4.85M In Restitution To Settle Arizona's Consumer Lawsuit
PHOENIX - Blood-testing start-up Theranos Inc. on April 18 agreed to pay $4.85 million to Arizona as full restitution to state residents who had their blood tested under the company's auspices only to have 834,233 test results voided (State of Arizona, et al. v. Theranos, Inc., No. n/a, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).



Acting U.S. Solicitor General Will Take Part In April 25 High Court Jurisdiction Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 13 allowed the U.S. acting solicitor general to participate in April 25 arguments about whether state courts can be a forum for claims by out-of-state residents against an out-of-state drug manufacturer (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, et al., No. 16-466, U.S. Sup.).



California IVC Plaintiffs Were Not Proposing Joint Trial; CAFA Remand Affirmed
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 agreed with a federal district court that nine plaintiffs bringing claims against Cordis Corp. for injuries allegedly caused by the defendant's inferior vena cava (IVC) device are not seeking trials that would trigger federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jerry Dunson, et al. v. Cordis Corporation, No. 17-15257, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6446).



2 Plaintiff General Causation Experts Excluded From New Jersey Accutane Litigation
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The New Jersey state court judge overseeing the Accutane multicounty litigation on April 13 granted a motion by defendant Hoffman-La Roche (Roche) to bar the general causation testimony of two plaintiff experts, one of whom has been with the litigation for most of its existence (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 271 (MCL), N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).



Xarelto MDL Judge Denies Preemption Summary Judgment Based On Label Change
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on April 13 denied a defense motion to grant partial summary judgment based on preemption in the first two bellwether cases, saying the issues "are factually pregnant and inappropriate for summary judgment"(In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56630).



Plaintiff Leadership Named In Eliquis MDL
NEW YORK - The New York federal judge overseeing the Eliquis multidistrict litigation on April 10 appointed plaintiff attorneys to leadership positions (In Re: Eliquis [Apixaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2754, No. 17-MD-2754, S.D. N.Y.).



Alere Settles Class Action Involving Recalled Blood Clot Testing Device
BOSTON - The makers of an at-home device to test blood clotting factors has settled a federal class action, according to a settlement order of dismissal filed April 12 (J.E., et al. v. Alere, Inc., et al., No. 16-11515, D. Mass.).



9 Depakote Birth Defect Cases Out On Indiana Statute Of Repose
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 11 dismissed nine Depakote birth defect cases after ruling that the claims are time-barred by Indiana's 10-year statute of repose (In Re: Depakote, Rhealyn Alexander, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-52, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55316).



GSK Must Produce Records For Justice Department Probe Of Zofran Off-Label Sales
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge in the Zofran multidistrict litigation on April 6 granted a plaintiffs' motion to compel defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) to produce documents related to the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the off-label marketing of the anti-nausea drug suspected of causing birth defects (In Re: Zofran [Ondanestron] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2657, No. 15-md-2657, D. Mass.).



Mirena Brain Injury MDL Approved On 2nd Try, Sent To Manhattan Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On their second try in 2-1/2 years, plaintiffs on April 6 succeeded in getting a multidistrict litigation for federal lawsuits alleging that the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) caused intracranial hypertension injuries (In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2767, JPMDL).



Judicial Panel Denies MDL For Sorin Heater-Cooler Device
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judicial panel on April 5 denied a motion to centralize 16 federal lawsuits alleging infections allegedly caused by the Soren 3T Heater-Cooler device, saying most plaintiffs oppose a multidistrict litigation and mostly common counsel makes informal coordination a feasible alternative (In Re: Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2772, JPMDL).



23 Farxiga Diabetes Drug Cases Sent To MDL In Manhattan Federal Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Twenty-three federal lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that they suffered diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage from the diabetes drug Farxiga were centralized April 6 before Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (In Re: Farxiga [Dapaglifozin] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2776, JPMDL).



Shingles Vaccine Causation Claim Barred By Statute Of Limitations, Judge Rules
PHILADELPHIA - A man who claims to have developed shingles after getting a shingles vaccine knew the shot was a reasonable cause of his subsequent symptoms but missed the applicable two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against Merck & Co. Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (collectively, Merck), a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 13 in granting summary judgment for the defendants (Chris Juday, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 16-1547, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58356).



False Claims Act Suit Over Off-Label Vfend Promotion Survives Dismissal Motion
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 11 denied a motion by Pfizer Inc. to dismiss a False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq., lawsuit alleging that the company engaged in off-label promotion of the anti-fungal drug Vfend and paid kickbacks to doctors in exchange for prescribing the drug (United States of America, ex rel. Catherine A. Brown, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 05-6795, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55656).



Hearing May 25 On Brazilian Insurers' Motion For Medical Device Kickback MDL
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five United States medical device companies on April 13 filed briefs opposing the centralization of three federal lawsuits brought against them by a Brazilian health insurance association that claims the companies bribed Brazilian doctors to use their products, costing the insurers money (In Re: Brazilian Prosthetic Device Bribery Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2780, JPMDL).



Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Oppose Physiomesh MDL
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Ethicon Inc. on April 13 opposed a motion by nine plaintiffs to centralize federal lawsuits alleging injury from the Physiomesh Flexible Composite hernia patch (In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2782, JPMDL).



Mylan Hit With Class Complaint Over EpiPen Pricing
SEATTLE - The components of EpiPens cost between $20 and $30 to make, but Mylan Specialty L.P. has increased the list price of the epinephrine auto-injector 574 percent since 2007 - from $90.28 to $608.62 -to participate in a kickback scheme, three consumers allege in a class complaint filed against Mylan on April 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Amber Rainey, et al. v. Mylan Specialty, L.P., No. 17-5244, W.D. Wash.).



Judge: Insurer Has No DutyTo Defend, Indemnify Suits Over Contaminated Medication
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on March 31 entered a judgment in favor of an insurer, declaring that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insureds against underlying lawsuits and medical malpractice complaints stemming from a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis, lumbar fungal infections and related injuries as a result of patients receiving injections of contaminated epidural steroid medication for pain management (Westfield Insurance Co v. Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center of Northern Indiana, Inc., et al., No. 14-1548, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46119).



Drug Distributor McKesson Gets Injunction Against Arkansas' Execution Drug Use
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - An Arkansas state court judge on April 14 issued a temporary restraining order against the state's planned executions of eight death row inmates in 11 days at the request of drug distributor McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. (McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc. v. State of Arkansas, et al., No. 60CV-17-1921, Ark Cir., Pulaski Co.).



Baxter Gets Subpoena In Antitrust Grand Jury Probe Of IV Products
DEERFIELD, Ill. - Baxter International Inc. on April 14 reported that an employee has received a grand jury subpoena pursuant to an antitrust criminal investigation taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



Lead Plaintiffs Appointed In Securities Suit Against Medical Equipment Developer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A group of shareholders have met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a medical equipment developer and certain of its executive officers, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 3 in granting their motion for appointment as lead plaintiffs (Rajesh M. Shah v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-0815, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 50236).



Judge Certifies Class In Securities Class Action Against Drug Maker, Others
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on March 22 granted class certification in a securities class action lawsuit and appointed shareholders as class representatives and two law firms as class counsel, rejecting arguments by defendants that the shareholders and their counsel would not be able to adequately represent the class (Brad Mauss v. NuVasive Inc., et al., No. 13-2005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41894).






U.S. High Court Won't Review New Jersey Failure-To-Update Metoclopramide Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 3 denied review of a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that allows failure-to-warn claims against generic drug manufacturers who fail to update their labels to warn against risks that are part of the predecessor brand-name drug's label (In Re Reglan Litigation, PLIVA, Inc., et al. v. Phyllis Kohles, et al., No. 16-684, U.S. Sup.).



11th Circuit Affirms $2.1M Verdict In 1st Wright Hip Bellwether Trial
PHILADELPHIA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 20 affirmed a $2.1 million verdict in the first Wright Medical Technology Inc. metal-on-metal hip trial, finding that the multidistrict litigation judge properly rejected a contradictory initial verdict, properly dismissed a recalcitrant juror and properly applied Utah products liability law (Robyn Christiansen, et al. v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., No. 16-12162, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4872).



Biomet Hip MDL Judge Denies Setting Of Early Bar Date Against Claims
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge overseeing the Biomet M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip multidistrict litigation on March 26 denied a defense motion to establish a bar date of Feb. 10, 2011, a date that predates even the establishment of the MDL (Linda Brown v. Biomet Orthopedics, LLC, No. 14-1470, N.D. Ind., South Bend Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44136).



2014 Release Of Wright Hip Claim Bars Claim For 2016 Replacement Of Other Hip
ATLANTA - The Georgia federal judge overseeing the Wright hip multidistrict litigation on March 29 ruled that when a plaintiff signed a settlement release for claims involving one of his hips, it applied to the other hip, which developed problems two years later (In Re: Wright Medical Technology Inc. Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2329, Elie M. Mims, et al. v. Wright Medical Technology Inc., et al., No. 16-3044, N.D. Ga., Atlanta Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47146).



3rd Circuit Overturns Merck's Preemption Win In Fosamax Cases
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 22 reversed a federal judge in New Jersey's ruling awarding summary judgment to the maker of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, finding that the manufacturer was unable to produce evidence showing that the Food and Drug Administration would not have approved a stronger warning on the drug's label regarding the risk of femoral fracture (In re Fosamax [Alendronate Sodium] Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-1900, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5075).



3rd Circuit Reverses Remand Of Birth Control Pill Mix-Up Case On CAFA Grounds
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 28 vacated remand of a birth control pill mix-up case, finding that under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), the plaintiffs did not use language in their complaint to sufficiently disavow that they were seeking a joint trial (Melissa Ramirez, et al. v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC, et al., Nos. 17-1221 and 17-1226, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5397).



Appeal Of Survival Claims In Risperdal Death Case Untimely, Appeals Court Says
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on March 23 said the mother of a man who died during a Risperdal clinical trial failed to timely appeal summary judgment against her survival action (Marion Liu, et al. v. Janssen Research & Development, LLC, No. B266368, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2103).



Plaintiff Law Firm Petitions High Court To Reverse FDA's Denial Of Citizen Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plaintiff law firm on March 7 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Food and Drug Administration's denial of its citizen petition seeking a black box warning about gynecomastia in adolescent males allegedly cause by two antipsychotic drugs (Sheller, P.C. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 16-1097, U.S. Sup.).



Former NECC Head Found Not Guilty Of Murder In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal jury on March 22 found Barry J. Cadden, the former head of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), not guilty of 25 counts of second-degree murder in connection with a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated compounded drugs but found him guilty of racketeering, mail fraud and selling misbranded drugs (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).



Aug. 2 Trial Set For NECC Supervising Pharmacist For Racketeering, Mail Fraud
BOSTON - Six days after his co-defendant's trial ended in a mixed verdict, Glenn A. Chin on March 28 was ordered to stand trial on Aug. 2 on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and selling adulterated drugs while employed as supervising pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center (NECC) (United States of America v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).



$77.6M Initial Payments Made To 1,810 Claimants In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
BOSTON - The tort trustee in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) bankruptcy on March 29 told a Massachusetts federal court that the trust has paid $77,678,588 in initial settlement payments in 1,810 out of 2,018 approved claims made in connection with the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a contaminated drug compounded by the debtor (In Re: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2419, No. 13-md-2419, D. Mass.).



Avandia Trustee Awarded $1.9M Against Plaintiffs Law Firm For Unauthorized Payouts
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on March 23 ordered a plaintiff law firm to indemnify ATG Trust Co. $1.9 million for improperly released settlement holdback funds (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-0871, Cynthia Collier v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-480, Jeffie Ezell v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-482, E.D. Pa.).



Actos MDL Judge Tells JPMDL To Stop Transferring New Cases, Citing Settlement
LAFAYETTE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on March 14 recommended that a judicial panel transfer no new cases into the Actos multidistrict litigation, a docket once home to 5,185 cases and one that generated a $9 billion verdict in its first bellwether trial (In Re: Actos [Pioglitazone] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 11-md-2299, W.D. La., Lafayette Div.).



Levaquin RICO Lawsuit Dismissed By Judge In District Of Columbia
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on March 31 dismissed a lawsuit filed by watchdog Larry E. Klayman alleging a conspiracy among Johnson & Johnson, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret L. Hamburg and her husband's hedge fund to hide the risks of the antibiotic Levaquin (Terry Aston, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 16-86, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49229).



California Surgical Gown Class Action Trial Under Way Despite Law Firm Bankruptcy
LOS ANGELES - A California class action trial alleging that surgical gowns failed to protect operating room personnel against blood-borne pathogens got under way on March 28, four days after the presiding California federal judge denied a defense motion to decertify the class because the plaintiff's law firm has filed for bankruptcy (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly Clarke Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



Judge Refuses To Strike Widow's Expert's Testimony On Access To Data
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois overseeing a trial claiming that a former Reed Smith partner's use of the antidepressant Paxil caused him to commit suicide in 2010 on March 20 denied the drug maker's motion to strike portions of testimony from a plaintiff's expert of the amount of data he had access to that purportedly showed that suicidal events were underreported during studies (Wendy Dolin v. SmithKline Beechman Corporation, d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. 12-cv-6403, N.D. Ill.).



Plaintiffs Allowed To File Amended Complaint In Insulin Pump Case
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 27 denied a motion to dismiss an insulin pump product liability case and granted the plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint (Donald Hawn, et al. v. Medtronic MiniMed, Inc., et al., No. 16-93, E.D. Ky., Central Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43954).



Eliquis MDL Parties Disagree Whether Preemption Ruling Would Be A Silver Bullet
NEW YORK - Parties in the 37-day-old Eliquis multidistrict litigation on March 16 told the judge they disagree whether a preemption ruling in one case will be dispositive of all cases in the litigation (In Re: Eliquis [Apixaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2754, No. 17-md-2754, S.D. N.Y.).



'Implied Impossibility' Theory Of Preemption Rejected In Pedicle Screw Case
VALDOSTA, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on March 28 denied dismissal of a pedicle screw complaint, rejecting among other defense arguments that the plaintiff's strict liability claim is preempted by "implied impossibility" (Jessica Kaku, et al. v. Alphatec Spine, Inc., No. 16-9, M.D. Ga., Valdosta Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45118).



New York Informed Intermediary Doctrine Results In Dismissal Of Orthopedic Cable Case
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 16 granted summary judgment to Zimmer Inc. and Pioneer Surgical Technology Inc. after finding that a doctor was an informed intermediary and knew that a cable used in a femur fracture repair could break (Mary Tomaselli, et al. v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., No. 14-4474, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37203).



Plaintiff Can Amend Off-Label Promotion Claim If Learned Intermediary Is Addressed
FLORENCE, S.C. - A plaintiff who claims that Sandoz Inc. marketed its heart arrhythmia drug amiodarone for off-label uses will be allowed to file an amended complaint for fraudulent off-label marketing if he can get around the learned intermediary doctrine, a South Carolina federal judge ruled March 31 (James E. McLeod, et al. v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 16-1640, D. S.C., Florence Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48621).



Arizona Law Allows 'Truthful' Promotion Of Off-Label Drug, Devices
PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on March 23 signed a law allowing drug manufacturers to engage in "truthful promotion of an off-label used of a drug, biological product or device" ("Free Speech in Medicine Act," HB 2382, Ariz. Legis., Ariz. R. Stat., Title 23, Ch. 18, Art. 4, § 32-1997).



Sanofi Pasteur To Pay $19M For Drug Overcharges To Veterans Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sanofi Pasteur has agreed to pay $19.86 million to resolve claims by the United States that the drug company incorrectly calculated the prices of drugs it sold to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Justice Department said in an April 3 press release.



Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Against Allergan Largely Survives Dismissal In Federal Court
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 31 largely denied Allegan Inc.'s motion to dismiss a false claims/kickback whistle-blower lawsuit, alleging that the company induced eye doctors to prescribe the company's ophthalmic drugs in exchange for free post-operative kits, free drugs and free supplies (United States of America, ex rel. John A. Wood, et al. v. Allergan, Inc., et al., No. 10-5645, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50103).



Novartis Wants To Bar United States From Using 'Markers' In Fraud Case
NEW YORK - Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NPC) on March 14 asked a federal court to conduct a pre-motion conference, saying it wants partial summary judgment preventing the United States from using "markers" to show the drug company conducted sham medical education events and paid unlawful kickbacks to health care providers (United States of America, ex rel. Oswald Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., No. 11-71, S.D. N.Y.).






FDA Warns IBS Drug Viberzi May Cause Pancreatitis In Patients Without Gallbladder
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on March 15 issued a drug safety communication warning that the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) drug Viberzi has been associated with reports of hospitalizations and deaths in patients who do not have a gallbladder.



Mentor Pelvic Mesh MDL Judge Disagrees With 11th Circuit Time-Bar Ruling
A Georgia federal judge overseeing the Mentor ObTape pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on March 14 openly disagreed with a March 9 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision reversing the MDL judge's statute-of-limitations ruling against 12 plaintiffs (Deborah Ann Rogers v. Mentor Corporation, et al., No 16-10119, et al., 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4184, In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-2004, M.D. Ga., Columbus Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35833).



Only $10.57M Left For 4,000 Pelvic Mesh Class Members; Liability Estimate Is $100M
LOS ANGELES - Class members who were implanted with pelvic mesh devices made by Caldera Medical Inc. will share $10,579,980 after expenses, according to a settlement given final approval March 3 by a California federal judge (Federal Insurance Company v. Caldera Medical, Inc., et al., No. 15-393, C.D. Calif.).



7th Circuit Vacates Class Certification In Eye Drop Size Suit, Orders Dismissal
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 6 vacated the grant of class certification in a lawsuit over the size of eye drops and remanded with directions to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, opining that there is no cause of action (Charlene Eike, et al v. Allergan, Inc., et al., No. 16-3334, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3954).



Fresenius Gets Defense Verdict In NaturaLyte MDL Wrongful Death Trial
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal jury on March 3 returned a defense verdict for Fresenius Medical Care Holding Inc., finding that the plaintiffs failed to show by a preponderance of evidence that the company's NaturaLyte kidney dialysis solution was the proximate cause of the patient's death (Florella Dial, et al. v. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 14-11101, D. Mass.).



Bristol-Myers Asks Supreme Court To Set Jurisdictional Standard For Plavix Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) on March 1 filed its opening brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that specific jurisdiction does not allow a group of out-of-state Plavix patients to sue the company in California state court (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California, et al., No. 16-466, U.S. Sup.).



Defense Rests In Murder Trial Of Former NECC Head For Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
BOSTON - The defense in the federal murder trial of the former head of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) rested March 13 after 44 days of testimony but only three days of defense witnesses (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).



Benicar MDL Plaintiff Experts Must Produce Patient Records Relied On In Reports
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge overseeing the Benicar multidistrict litigation on March 13 ordered plaintiffs to produce redacted records of Benicar patients on which two experts relied (In Re: Benicar [Olmesartan] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2606, No. 15-2606, D. N.J.).



Jury Selection To Begin In Suicide Case Based On Paxil Warning Label
CHICAGO - Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 14 in a wrongful death case in which GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) is accused of failing to update its Paxil label to warn about the risk of suicide (Wendy Dolin, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).



Biomet Hip MDL Judge Won't Sanction Plaintiffs For Not Preserving Explanted Hips
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Indiana federal judge overseeing the Biomet Magnum hip multidistrict litigation on March 1 denied a motion by defendant Biomet Inc. to sanction six plaintiffs with dismissal for failure to comply with a court order requiring the preservation of explanted devices (George Marous v. Biomet, Inc., et al., No. 14-768, et al., N.D. Ind., South Bend Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28465).



Consent Decree Entered Against Denver Supplement Maker For Unapproved New Drugs
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 13 entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against EonNutra LLC., CDSM LLC, HAWB LLC and owner Michael Floren for distributing unapproved drugs and dietary supplements (United States of America v. EonNutra, LLC, et al., No. 17-633, D. Colo.).



Depakote Birth Defect Trial Off Due To Witness's Health
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on March 3 vacated a March 27 Depakote birth defect trial date after ascertaining that an expert witness's health precluded him from testifying at trial (D.W.K., Jr., et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., No. 14-847, S.D. Ill.).



Judge Finds Medtronic Drug Pump Claims Are All Expressly Preempted
TOLEDO, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Feb. 2 dismissed as expressly preempted all claims by a plaintiff who says he suffered serious injury after a Medtronic Inc. drug pump leaked into his abdomen (Randy Warstler v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 16-385, N.D. Ohio, Western Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27972).



MDL Sought For Recalled Ethicon Physiomesh Hernia Mesh Patch
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nine plaintiffs on March 9 asked a federal judicial panel to centralize federal lawsuits alleging injury from the Physiomesh Flexible Composite hernia patch (In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2782, JPMDL).



Florida Statute Of Repose May Not Apply To Surgical Mesh Case, Judge Says
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on March 7 denied a motion to dismiss a surgical mesh case, saying that at this stage of the case, Florida's 12-year statute of repose may not apply to the plaintiff's claim (Judith Woodbury v. C.R. Bard, Inc., No. 16-3229, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31777).



Bayer Tells 2nd Circuit Mirena Experts, 'Admissions' Evidence Properly Excluded
NEW YORK - Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. on March 8 told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Mirena multidistrict litigation court did not err in excluding the plaintiffs' three causation expert witnesses and said the plaintiffs' "proof of general causation" is legally inadequate (In Re Mirena IUD Products, Mirena MDL Plaintiffs v. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, No. 16-3012, 2nd Cir.).



Medtronic Tells 5th Circuit That Plaintiffs' New Evidence Won't Make A Difference
NEW ORLEANS - Medtronic Inc. on March 9 told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a plaintiff failed to exercise due diligence about other possible causes of his injury and that his "newly discovered evidence" would not have changed the outcome of his case (Bryant Lyles v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., Nos. 16-30517 and 16-31044, 5th Cir.).