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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Drugs & Devices Legal News

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Shire $350M Settlement Said To Be Largest For Medical Device False Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what the U.S. Justice Department calls the largest False Claims Act recovery in a medical device kickback case, Shire Pharmaceuticals LLC and certain subsidiaries will pay $350 million to settle federal and state allegations that the defendants paid remuneration to health care providers to use Dermagraft, a bioengineered human skin graft, according to a Jan. 11 department press release (United States ex rel. Vinca v. Advanced BioHealing, Inc., No. 11-176, United States ex rel. Harvey v. Advanced BioHealing, Inc., No. 16-303, United States ex rel. Medolla v. Advanced BioHealing, Inc., No. 12-575, United States, et al., ex rel. Petty v. Shire Regenerative Medicine, Inc., No. 14-969, United States ex rel. Webb v. Advanced BioHealing, Inc., No. 14-1055, and United States, et al., ex rel. Montecalvo v. Shire Regenerative Medicine, Inc., No. 16-268, M.D. Fla.).



Zimmer Biomet To Pay $30.4M To Settle Foreign Bribery Claims By United States
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Orthopedic device maker Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. and an indirect subsidiary will pay $30.4 million to resolve criminal charges that they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to people in Mexico and for violating a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) for earlier FCPA violations, the U.S. Justice Department announced Jan. 12 (United States of America v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., No. 12-cr-80, United States of America v. JERDS Luxembourg Holdings S.A.R.L., No. n/a, D. D.C.).



Baxter Healthcare Pays $18.15M For Manufacturing Violations, False Claims
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Baxter Healthcare Corp. has agreed to pay $18.15 million in criminal and civil penalties to resolve allegations that it continued to manufacture and sell intravenous (IV) solutions made in a clean room outfitted with moldy air filters, the U.S. Justice Department announced Jan. 12 (United States of America v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, No. 17-10, United States of America v. $8,000,000 in Funds, et al., No. 15-cv15, and United States ex rel. Christopher Wall v. Baxter International, Inc., et al., No. 13-42, W.D. N.C.).



Drug Distributor McKesson Pays $150M, Suspends Some Sales For Opioid Orders
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Drug distributor McKesson Corp. will pay a $150 million civil penalty and will suspend sales of controlled substances in three states for alleged repeated violations of the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. Justice Department said in a Jan.17 press release.



2 Drug Distributors Pay $36M To Settle West Virginia Distribution Lawsuits
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia on Jan. 9 announced that two drug distributors have agreed to pay a total of $36 million to resolve state court civil lawsuits alleging that the distributors were liable for supplying controlled substances to state pharmacies (State of West Virginia, ex rel. Darrell McGraw v. Cardinal Health Inc., No. 12-C-140, and State of West Virginia, ex rel. Darrell McGraw v. AmerisourceBergen Inc., No. 12-C-141, W.Va. Cir., Boone Co.).



Stryker Rejuvenate, ABGII Hip Settlement Expanded To Replacements Up To 2016
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota federal judge overseeing the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII metal-on-metal hip multidistrict litigation on Dec. 19 approved an expansion of the earlier settlement program (In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII Hip Implants Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2441, No. 13-2441, D. Minn.).



DePuy Pinnacle Hip Plaintiffs Ask 5th Circuit To Consolidate Appeals
NEW ORLEANS - Five plaintiffs who last year won a $146.2 million judgment against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. in a consolidated Pinnacle hip bellwether trial on Jan. 6 filed an opposed motion asking the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to consolidate their appeal with that of a $500 million judgment in a subsequent six-plaintiff bellwether trial (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, Jay Christopher, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-11051, 5th Cir.).



1st Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Yasmin Blood Clot Suit For Attorney Neglect
CHICAGO - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 affirmed dismissal of a Yasmin blood clot lawsuit, citing admission by the plaintiff's attorneys that they did "mostly nothing" to warrant keeping the lawsuit active (Jennifer Dzik v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 16-1333, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 684).



West Virginia Judges Grant Pfizer Summary Judgment In Zoloft Birth Defect Case
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Seven West Virginia state court judges on Dec. 23 unanimously agreed to grant Pfizer Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in the state's Zoloft birth defect mass tort litigation (In Re: Zoloft Litigation, No. 14-C-7000, W.Va. Cir., Kanawha Co.).



Jury Selection Begins In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Federal Murder Trial
BOSTON - Jury selection is set to begin Jan. 6 in the federal murder trial of Barry J. Cadden in connection with a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak allegedly caused by contaminated compounded drugs made by Cadden's former company, New England Compounding Center (NECC) (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).



1 Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Criminal Case
BOSTON - One of the original 14 criminal defendants in the fungal meningitis outbreak on Dec. 19 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by participating in a scheme to ship compounded drugs to health care facilities without the required patient names (United State of America v. Robert A. Ronzio, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).



Eliquis MDL Arguments Set For Jan. 29
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arguments for the centralization of 34 federal Eliquis personal injury lawsuits will be heard Jan. 26 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) (In Re: Eliquis [Apixaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2754, JMPDL).



2nd Mirena MDL Sought For Intracranial Hypertension Injuries From Levonorgestrel
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ten federal court plaintiffs on Dec. 29 asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to create a second Mirena MDL for plaintiffs alleging that the hormone-coated intrauterine device (IUD) causes intracranial hypertension (IH) (In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2767, JPMDL).



Taxotere Off-Label Claims Not Time-Barred, Aren't Free Speech, Judge Says
PHILADELPHIA - A False Claims Act lawsuit alleging off-label marketing of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere is not barred by the statute of limitations and is not aimed at "truthful, non-misleading" speech about off-label uses, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Jan. 9 in denying a new motion by defendant Aventis Inc. dismiss the 14-year-old case (United States of America, ex rel. Yoash Gohil v. Aventis, Inc., et al., No. 02-2964, E.D. Pa.).



Taxotere MDL Judge Says Brand Name, Generic Drugs Are Part Of Litigation
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Taxotere hair loss multidistrict litigation on Jan. 11 told liaison counsel that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) intends that claims against generic drug manufacturers be included in the MDL (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, No. 16-md-2740, E.D. La.).



No Settlement Of Surgical Gown State Class Action Ahead Of March 28 Trial
LOS ANGELES - Seventy-two days before the start of a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the parties on Jan. 16 reported to a California federal judge that "[d]espite the best efforts of the parties, they have been unable to settle the case" (Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



Judge Dismisses Delay Claim In Suboxone Case, Allows Refiled Lanham Claims
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 4 dismissed claims by a generic drug manufacturer that Indivior Inc. engaged in anti-competitive behavior by delaying the introduction of a generic version of the opioid treatment drug Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) but allowed the plaintiff to refile its false advertising claims (In Re: Suboxone [Buprenorphine Hydrochloride and Naloxone] Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2445, No. 13-md-2445, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Indivior Inc., No. 16-563, E.D. Pa.).



Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Patent Dispute Over Biologics
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 13 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a closely watched dispute between two drug makers over their competing interpretations of several provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) (Sandoz, Inc. v. Amgen, Inc., No. 15-1039, U.S. Sup.; Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., No. 15-1195, U.S. Sup.).



Judge: Investor Failed To Plead Demand Futility Under Either Prong Of Aronson
LOS ANGELES - An investor in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against 17 current and former executive officers and directors of a drug company has failed to show that the defendants were interested in the outcome of the litigation or that their actions were in violation of the business judgment rule under Aronson v. Lewis, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 10 in granting the company's motion to dismiss (Judy Durgin v. Kevin Sharer, et al., No. 07-3001, C.D. Calif.).






Lifepak 1000 AED Power Problem Resulted In 8 Adverse Events, Company Says
REDMOND, Wash. - Physio-Control Inc. on Jan. 13 initiated an immediate voluntary field action after receiving 34 reports that the company's Lifepak 1000 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) shut down due to an electrical connection problem, according to a company announcement.



Omnibus Summary Judgment Granted In Lipitor Diabetes MDL After Causation Rulings
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina federal judge overseeing the Lipitor diabetes multidistrict litigation on Jan. 3 granted partial summary judgment to defendant Pfizer Inc., ordered all plaintiffs to show cause why he should not grant summary judgment in their cases and suggested that no more cases be transferred into the MDL (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2502, No. 14-mn-2502, D. S.C., Charleston Div.).



DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Judge More Than Halves $1B Punitives For 6 Plaintiffs
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 3 more than halved $1 billion in punitive damages for six plaintiffs in the second DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, and the plaintiffs on the same day filed a notice that they will appeal the reduction (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, Michael Weiser v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3631, Judith Rodriguez v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3938, Linda Standerfer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1730, Kathleen Davis, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, Marvin Andrews, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-3484, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).



Nonsuit Granted In Pennsylvania Risperdal Gynecomastia Trial
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court judge on Dec. 13 granted a motion for a nonsuit in a Risperdal gynecomastia case that was 10 days into trial in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court (TM, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 130501076, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



Allegation Of Counterfeit Spinal Hardware Fails Anti-SLAPP Challenge
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Dec. 19 affirmed the striking of an alleged strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) lawsuit against two plaintiff attorneys involving an underlying lawsuit alleging that a former hospital owner used counterfeit orthopedic hardware in patients (Healthsmart Pacific, Inc., et al. v. Brian S. Kabateck, et al., No. B264300, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9117).



Drug Maker To Pay Nearly $520M To Settle SEC, Justice Department FCPA Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its wholly owned Russian subsidiary will pay nearly $520 million to settle claims with government authorities over the generic drug manufacturer's involvement in a bribery scheme in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), according to press releases issued Dec. 22 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (United States of America v. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., et al., No. 16-cr-20967, S.D. Fla.; and Securities and Exchange Commission v. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., et al., No. 16-cv-25298, S.D. Fla.).



Forest Labs To Pay $38M To Settle Kickback Allegations Involving 3 Drugs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Forest Laboratories LLC and Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc. have agreed to pay $38 million to resolve civil allegations that they violated the federal False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to physicians to prescribe the drugs Bystolic, Savella and Namenda, the U.S. Justice Department said Dec. 15 in a press release (United States of America, ex rel. Kurt Kroening v. Forest Pharmaceuticals Incl., et al., No. 12-366, E.D. Wis.).



1st Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of False Claims Involving Vagus Nerve Stimulator
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 affirmed dismissal of a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Cyberonics Inc. pushed premature replacements of its neurostimulators, agreeing with the district court that the relator failed to show that false claims were submitted to federal health care programs (Andrew Hagerty, ex rel. United States, et al. v. Cyberonics, Inc., No. 16-1304, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22405).



Product Defect Plaintiff Tells High Court: Rights Were Violated By Testimony Exclusion
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a product defect lawsuit arising out of silicone in a breast implant, a woman on Dec. 5 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether her right to fundamental fairness under the Seventh and 14th amendments were violated when a district court's exclusion of expert testimony was affirmed "based upon disingenuous legal legerdemain" (Beverly Ezra v. DCC Litigation Facility Inc., No. 16-740, U.S. Sup.).



NECC Murder Defendant Moves To Dismiss Federal Murder Charge
BOSTON - The former president and chief pharmacist of New England Compounding Center (NECC) on Dec. 14 filed another motion seeking to dismiss the murder charges he faces in January and to get access to grand jury minutes (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).



10th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Injunction Against Utah's Contact Lens Pricing Law
DENVER - A split panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 backed a trial court's denial of an injunction against Utah's contact lens pricing (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., et al. v. Sean D. Reyes, et al., Nos. 15-4071, 15-4072, 15-4073, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22444).



Generic Drug Makers Named In Criminal, Civil Complaints For Price Fixing, Bid Rigging
PHILADELPHIA - On Dec. 14 and 15, separate criminal and civil complaints were filed in federal courts by the federal government and 20 states against two former executives and six generic drug manufacturers accusing them of conspiring to fix the prices, rig drug bids and allocate markets for the antibiotic doxycycline and the diabetes drug glyburide (United States of America v. Jeffrey Glazer, No. 16-cr-506, United States of America v. Jason Malek, No. 16-cr-508, E.D. Pa., The State of Connecticut, et al. v. Aurbodino Pharma USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-2056, D. Conn.).



Judge Grants Final Approval Of $468M Settlement In Pfizer Securities Suit
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 21 granted final approval of a $486 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit between shareholders and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Pfizer Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 04-9866, S.D. N.Y.).



Stock Promotion Articles Not Actionable In Securities Class Action, Panel Rules
ATLANTA - A pharmaceutical company and certain of its officers and directors cannot be held liable for articles promoting the company's new nonalcoholic steatohepatitis drug because, even though the company paid stock promoters to write the articles, the defendants did not actually make any of the alleged misstatements, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 15 (In re Galectin Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-10324, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22317).






$1B Verdict Returned In 6-Plaintiff Pinnacle Hip MDL Bellwether Trial
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Dec. 1 returned a verdict of more than $1 billion in favor of six plaintiffs in the second DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, Michael Weiser v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3631, Judith Rodriguez v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3938, Linda Standerfer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1730, Kathleen Davis, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, Marvin Andrews, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-3484, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).



New Trial Denied In $146.2M Pinnacle Hip Bellwether MDL Trial; Order Sealed
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 9 denied a defense motion for a new trial in a Pinnacle hip case that resulted in a $146.2 million judgment against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, Margaret Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-1071, Jacqueline Christopher v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-194, Donald Greer v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1672, Susan Klusmann v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-2800, Robert Peterson v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-1941, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).



7th Circuit Reverses Quantum Meruit Fee In ASR Hip Case For Detailed Analysis
ST. LOUIS - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 1 reversed a disputed attorney fee in a DePuy ASR hip case and remanded it to a district court for an explanation of how the judge arrived at her 35 percent quantum meruit fee (Dustan Dobbs v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al. v. George E. McLaughlin, et al., No. 16-2135, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21492).



Coloplast Human Tissue-Based Pelvic Mesh Claim Protected By State Blood Shield Law
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the Coloplast Corp. pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Dec. 9 dismissed six claims in one plaintiff's case because the device is made of human tissue and is thus protected by the South Carolina blood shield statute (In Re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2387, No. 12-md-2387, Jane Jones v. Coloplast Corp., No. 14-11148, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).



Mentor ObTape MDL Judge Reverses Ruling On Statute Of Limitations
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Georgia federal judge overseeing the Mentor ObTape pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Dec. 5 reversed summary judgment in one "unique" case, finding on reconsideration that there is a factual dispute as to when the plaintiff became aware that the device was the cause of her injuries (In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-md-2004, , MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-md-2004, Janice Young, et al. v. Mentor Corp., No. 13-476, M.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167082).



West Virginia Pelvic Mesh MDL Plaintiffs Must Show Alternative, Feasible Design
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the Ethicon pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Dec. 9 reversed himself and found that West Virginia law requires 31 plaintiffs to show that there was an alternative, feasible design (Terreski Mullins, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No 12-2952, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170445).



Summary Judgment Partially Granted In C.R. Bard Pelvic Mesh Case
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the C.R. Bard Inc. pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Dec. 6 granted partial summary judgment in the case of a Connecticut plaintiff but denied summary judgment on the issue of punitive damages and other claims (Penny Havanick v. C.R. Bard, Inc., No. 12-2312, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168079).



Bard Pelvic Mesh Plaintiff Comes Away With Only Strict Liability, Warning Claims
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A plaintiff in a C.R. Bard pelvic mesh case will not be able to pursue her claims of manufacturing defect, breach implied and express warranty and negligent inspection, packaging, marketing and selling, but will be able to press her claim of strict liability and negligent failure to warn, a multidistrict litigation judge ruled Dec. 6 (Katie Rodenkirch-Kleindl, et al. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., No. 13-26026, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168078).



Invokana Diabetes Drug MDL Created, Assigned To Judge Martinotti In New Jersey
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Almost 100 federal lawsuits alleging that the diabetes drug Invokana causes diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damages were centralized Dec. 7 before Judge Brian R. Martinotti of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (In Re: Invokana [Canagliflozin] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2750, JPMDL).



FDA Concludes Actos Is Linked To Bladder Cancer After Literature Review
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 12 said an updated review of medical studies has led it to conclude that the diabetes drug Actos may be linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.



Lipitor MDL Judge Remands Additional California Cases
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina federal judge overseeing the Lipitor diabetes multidistrict litigation on Dec. 9 remanded another group of California cases to state court, finding that a California-based distributor was not fraudulent joined (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 14-mn-2502, D. S.C.).



Alabama Federal Magistrate Judge Finds No Jurisdiction Over Johnson & Johnson
SELMA, Ala. - An Alabama federal magistrate judge on Dec. 8 said the court lacks general and specific jurisdiction over Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in a DePuy hip case because the two entities are separate (Maeola Goldthrip, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 15-00651, S.D. Ala., N. Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170801).



Taxotere MDL Judge Names Settlement Committees
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Taxotere hair loss multidistrict litigation on Dec. 13 took the unusual step of appointing plaintiff and defense committees to regularly discuss settlement separately from litigation-related work (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, No. 16-md-2740, E.D. La.).



C-Qur Surgical Mesh MDL Created, Sent To Judge McCafferty In New Hampshire
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Twenty-one federal lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that they suffered an inflammatory reaction to the C-Qur surgical mesh patch were centralized Dec. 8 in a multidistrict litigation before U.S. Judge Landya B. McCafferty of the District of New Hampshire (In Re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2753, JPMDL).



Rhode Island Judge Denies Dismissal Of Composix Kugel Hernia Patch Suit
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island judge on Nov. 28 denied a motion by Davol Inc. and parent company C.R. Bard Inc. to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint involving the Composix Kugel Hernia Patch, finding that the plaintiff has adequately pleaded his claims (Wayne Smith, et al. v. Davol Inc., et al., No. PC-08-8307, Rhode Island Super., Providence).



Sperm Donor MDL Denied By Federal Judicial Panel; Minimal Cases Cited
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six federal lawsuits alleging that a sperm bank misrepresented the qualities of a donor do not need to be centralized in a multidistrict litigation, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled Dec. 7 (In Re: Xytex Corporation Sperm Donor Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2751, JPMDL).



6 Former Insys Executives Indicted For Paying Kickbacks For Opioid Scripts
BOSTON - Six former executives and managers of drug maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. were indicted Dec. 6 for racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly bribing medical practitioners to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl-containing pain drug, and for defrauding medical insurers, according to a criminal information unsealed Dec. 8 (United States of America v. Michael L. Babich, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).



Investor Sues Drug Company, Others Over Involvement In Price-Fixing Scheme
NEW YORK - A specialty pharmaceutical company and several of its current and former officers and directors concealed their involvement in an illegal generic drug price-fixing scheme in violation of federal securities laws, an investor argues in a Nov. 8 complaint filed in New York federal court (Charles R. Haile Jr. v. Allergan plc, et al., No. 16-8661, S.D. N.Y.).