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6 Plaintiffs Awarded $247M In 4th DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Bellwether Trial
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Nov. 16 awarded six plaintiffs $247.49 million in the fourth multidistrict litigation bellwether trial involving the DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle hip (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 11-md-02244, Ramon Alicea, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics., Inc., et al., No. 15-03489, Uriel Barzel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1245, Karen Kirschner v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1526, Hazel Miura v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-4119, Michael A. Stevens v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1776, Eugene Stevens Jr. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Texas).



Zimmer Gets 3 Of 4 Claims Dismissed In Hip Defect Case
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 29 dismissed four of five claims in a Zimmer metal-on-metal hip case (Joseph Shaw v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., No. 17-2119, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196014).



Only Negligence Claim Survives Dismissal In Zimmer Hip Case
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Nov. 27 dismissed all but a negligence claim in a Zimmer Inc. metal-on-metal hip case (James Viania v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., No. 17-1641, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195183).



Pennsylvania Jury Awards $27.8M In State's 1st Xarelto Trial
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on Dec. 5 awarded an Indiana woman and her husband $27.8 million for injuries allegedly caused by the anticoagulant drug Xarelto, a source told Mealey Publications (Lynn Hartman, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 160503416, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



Delaware State Court Eliquis Plaintiffs Fail To Escape MDL Utts Dismissal
NEW YORK - The New York federal judge overseeing the Eliquis multidistrict litigation on Nov. 29 dismissed with prejudice 24 new complaints that she said failed to escape her previous preemption rulings (In Re: Eliquis [Apixaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 17-md-2745, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196320).



Jury Finds For Defense In 1st Testim Bellwether Trial In Testosterone MDL
CHICAGO - Jurors in the first testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict bellwether trial involving Testim on Nov. 16 found in favor of defendant Auxilium Pharmaceuticals LLC (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, Steve Holtsclaw v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals LLC, et al., No. 15-3941, N.D. Ill.).



Risperdal Gynecomastia Cases Barred By Michigan Shield Law, Pennsylvania Panel Says
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals panel on Nov. 28 affirmed the dismissal of 13 Risperdal gynecomastia cases, agreeing with a trial judge that the plaintiffs' claims are preempted by Michigan's drug shield law and that the plaintiffs could not prove that the fraud exception applied to their claims (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, MA.J.L., et al v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 55 EDA 2015, et al., Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 965).



U.S. Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General To Weigh In On Fosamax Preemption
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 4 invited the U.S. solicitor general to express the views of the United States on whether there is "clear and convincing evidence" that the Food and Drug Administration would have rejected a stronger warning about femur fractures from the osteoporosis drug Fosamax (Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp. v. Doris Albrecht, et al., No. 17-290, U.S. Sup.).



About 180 Federal Opioid Cases Centralized In MDL Assigned To Ohio Court, Judge
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judicial panel on Dec. 5 centralized almost 180 federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributers by cities, counties and state before U.S. Judge Dan A. Polster of the Northern District of Ohio (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, JPMDL).



Washington Supreme Court Won't Be Asked To Rule On City's Opioid Suit
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Nov. 30 denied a motion by opioid maker Purdue Pharma LP to certify to the state Supreme Court its challenge of a city's use of the municipal cost-recovery rule for costs that the defendant says are not a cognizable tort injury (City of Everett v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 17-209, W.D. Wash., Seattle Div.).



Opioid False Claims Lawsuit Voluntarily Dismissed By Relator; U.S. Motion Still Sealed
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A whistleblower on Nov. 30 was allowed by a New York federal court to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice her five-month-old federal False Claims Act lawsuit against six large opioid manufacturers in light of a federal government investigation, according to a court order (State of New York, ex rel. Laurie Khanzadian v. Purdue Pharma, Inc., et al., No. 17-742, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197239).



Plaintiffs Denied New Trial In Depakote Birth Defect Case
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 22 denied a plaintiffs' motion for a new trial in a Depakote birth defect case that ended in a defense verdict (Kevin Hutchens, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-176, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193494).



U.S. High Court Won't Review Whether Bellwether Trials Of IVC Cases Trigger CAFA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 27 declined to review lower court rulings that the consolidation of inferior vena cava (IVC) filter cases for individual bellwether trials does not convert the cases into a mass action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), (Cordis Corporation v. Jerry Dunson, et al., No. 17-257, U.S. Sup.).



9th Circuit Denies Try By Ex-InterMune CEO To Revisit Expert Witness Issue
SAN FRANCISCO - Former InterMune Inc. CEO W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., on Dec. 4 lost another attempt to vacate his 2009 wire fraud conviction when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said he and his trial counsel voluntarily decided not to present testimony by their own biostatistician and pulmonologist and there was no ineffective counsel (United States of America v. W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., No. 15-16844, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24475).



2nd New Jersey Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial Gets Under Way Nov. 27
HACKENSACK, N.J. - The second Ethicon pelvic mesh case to go to trial in New Jersey state court got under way on Nov. 27 (Elizabeth Hrymoc, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. L-13686-14, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).



Mentor Asks Judicial Panel To End ObTape Pelvic Mesh MDL After Zero Cases Remain
COLUMBUS, Ga. - One of the oldest active pelvic mesh multidistrict litigations has no more cases, and the MDL should be closed, defendant Mentor Worldwide LLC told the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on Dec. 4 (In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-md-2004, M.D. Ga.).



Teva Urges Justices To Overturn 9th Circuit Ruling On Admissibility Of Experts
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' reversal of summary judgment for a drugmaker on a claim that its immunosuppressant drugs caused a young man's death from cancer should be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court because the appeals court overstepped its bounds in reversing the exclusion of expert causation testimony, the drug company argues in a Nov. 20 petition for a writ of certiorari (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Stephen Wendell, et ux., No. 17-747, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4571).



Parties Ask 9th Circuit To Unseal Nov. 28 Ruling In Incretin Mimetics MDL Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Defendants and plaintiffs on Dec. 1 and Nov. 30 urged the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to unseal its Nov. 28 order in their appeal of the dismissal of claims involving incretin mimetic diabetes drugs (Jean Adams, et al. v. Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 15-56997, 9th Cir.).



Cherokee Nation's Actos 'Lien' Transferred From MDL To Oklahoma Federal Court
LAFAYETTE, La. - Although she said she has "grave doubts" about whether the Cherokee Nation has a substantive claim to a third-party lien in the Actos settlement, the Louisiana judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation on Nov. 28 issued a final ruling that the court lacks venue and granted a motion by defendant Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. to transfer the case to a federal court in Oklahoma where the tribe and its allegedly injured members are located (In Re: Actos [Pioglitazone] Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2299, No. 11-md-2299, Cherokee Nation v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals U S A Inc et al., No. 15-1485, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196577).



Diabetic Test Strip Class Action Transferred, Joins Insulin Class Actions
SEATTLE - A federal lawsuit alleging collusion between pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and diabetic test strip manufacturers was transferred Nov. 28 from a Washington federal court to a New Jersey federal court to join other lawsuits alleging collusion between PBMs and insulin makers (Jeanine Prescott, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-803, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195188).



Medtronic Insulin Pump Case Dismissed As Preempted, But Plaintiff Can Refile
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Nov. 30 said that a plaintiff's claims involving an allegedly defective Medtronic Inc. insulin pump are preempted but that in light of the seriousness of the plaintiff's alleged injuries, the plaintiff can file an amended complaint to assert claims that will parallel federal regulations (Kevin Hart v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 16-5404, D. N.J.).



OIG Rescinds Approval Of Drug Patient Assistance Program For Privacy Breaches
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Nov. 28 rescinded a 2006 advisory opinion for the drug patient assistance program Caring Voice Coalition Inc. after determining that the program provided patient-specific data to one or more supporting drug companies, according to an OIG letter and a company statement.






Philippines FDA Orders Sanofi Pasteur To Pull New Dengue Fever Vaccine
MUNTINLUPA, Philippines - The Philippines Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 4 ordered Sanofi Pasteur Inc. to suspend the sale and distribution of its Dengvaxia dengue fever vaccine in the wake of a post-marketing clinical study indicating that the vaccine poses a potential risk to patients who have not previously been infected by the virus.



Public Citizen Petitions FDA To Remove Benicar Blood Pressure Drug From Market
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Advocacy group Public Citizen on Nov. 15 petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to immediately require the removal of Benicar from the market because it says the blood pressure drug "has unique serious risks but no unique benefit."



1st Cook IVC MDL Bellwether Trial Ends In Defense Verdict
INDIANAPOLIS - The first bellwether trial in the Cook Medical Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation ended Nov. 9 with a verdict for the defendant (Elizabeth Jane Hill v. Cook Medical, LLC, et al., No. 14-6016, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Div.).



Defense Verdict Returned In Pelvic Mesh Trial Remanded From MDL
HOUSTON - A Texas federal jury on Nov. 9 returned a defense verdict in an Ethicon pelvic mesh case that was remanded from a multidistrict litigation (Cheryl Lankston v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 17-323, S.D. Texas, Houston Div.).



Mississippi Supreme Court Vacates $1.95M Risperdal Verdict, Remands For Retrial
JACKSON, Miss. - A divided Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 19 reversed a $1.95 million verdict in a Risperdal tardive dyskinesia case, finding that there was no failure to warn but remanding for a new trial on the question of negligent misrepresentation (Johnson & Johnson, et al. v. Brenda Fortenberry, et al., No. 2015-CA-01369-SCT, Miss. Sup., 2017 Miss. LEXIS 421).



Risperdal Gynecomastia Defense Verdict Reversed On Appeal For 'Expert' Testimony
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals court panel on Nov. 13 reversed a Risperdal gynecomastia defense verdict, finding that the trial court erred in not treating physician assistant's testimony as that of a causation expert (W.C. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 2451 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 909).



Pennsylvania Appeals Court: 2 Risperdal Gynecomastia Cases Time-Barred
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Nov. 13 affirmed defense summary judgment in two Risperdal gynecomastia cases, ruling that the plaintiffs reasonably should have known that their alleged injuries were caused by the drug before they filed suit a minimum of six years too late (Jonathan Saksek v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 576 EDA 2015, Joshua Winter v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 590 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4163).



West Virginia High Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Zoloft Birth Defect Case
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 affirmed summary judgment in a Zoloft birth defect case because Michigan's drug shield law preempts the failure-to-warn claim and because the law's only exception for fraud is preempted by federal law (M.M., et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 16-0927, W. Va. Sup., 2017 W. Va. LEXIS 859).



Federal Circuit Affirms Denial Of FluMist Death Claim
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 affirmed a special master's ruling that a claimant had not proven that FluMist caused her daughter's death from Leigh disease (H.L., et al. v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 17-1218, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21708).



Arizona Appeals Court Partially Vacates Drug Pump Preemption
PHOENIX - An Arizona state appeals court on Oct. 19 partially vacated a preemption ruling involving a Medtronic drug pump case (Raymond R. Conklin, et al. v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 1 CA-CV 16-0252, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2017 Ariz. App. LEXIS 185).



4 Opioid Makers Ask U.S. High Court To Bar States From Hiring Outside Counsel
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five opioid drug makers on Oct. 27 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling that allows the state attorney general to hire outside attorneys to represent the state in a civil lawsuit involving the opioid crisis (Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., v. New Hampshire, No. 17-633, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4205).



Insys Therapeutics Sets Aside $150M For Possible Justice Department Settlement
PHOENIX - Opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. on Nov. 2 said it has accrued a minimum liability of $150 million over five years in connection with an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation.



4 West Virginia Cities File Opioid Class Action Against Accreditation Organization
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Four West Virginia cities on Nov. 2 filed a national class action against a hospital-credentialing organization, saying it teamed with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP to create pain management standards for hospitals that "grossly misrepresented the addictive qualities of opioids and fostered dangerous pain control practices" (City of Charleston, et al. v. The Joint Commission, et al., No. 17-4267, S.D. W.Va.).



Defendants In Securities Class Action Against Drug Maker Seek Dismissal
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a second amended shareholder class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its current and former executive officers is warranted because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to state any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in making federal securities law claims, defendants argue in a Nov. 3 motion to dismiss filed in New York federal court (In re Insys Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-1954, S.D. N.Y.).



1st Testim MDL Testosterone Trial Under Way In Illinois Federal Court
CHICAGO - The first testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict bellwether trial involving Testim got under way on Nov. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, Steve Holtsclaw v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals LLC, et al., No. 15-3941, N.D. Ill.).



1st Pennsylvania Xarelto Trial Under Way In Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - The first Xarelto bleeding injury trial in Pennsylvania state court got under way Nov. 6 in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court (In Re: Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, Lynn Hartman, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 160503416, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



Jury Deliberating In 4th DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Trial With 6 Plaintiffs
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Nov. 13 began deliberating in a multiplaintiff DePuy Pinnacle hip trial after nine weeks of testimony (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 11-md-02244, Ramon Alicea, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics., Inc., et al., No. 15-03489, Uriel Barzel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1245, Karen Kirschner v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1526, Hazel Miura v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-4119, Michael A. Stevens v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1776, Eugene Stevens Jr. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Texas).



Arkansas Supreme Court: Execution Drug Maker Must Be Identified
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A split Arkansas Supreme Court on Nov. 2 agreed with a lower court that state law does not prohibit the identification of manufacturers of an execution drug but said it does require protection of the identities of sellers and suppliers (Arkansas Department of Correction, et al. v. Steven Shults, No. CV-17-788, Ark. Sup., 2017 Ark. LEXIS 266).



MDL Judge Will Allow Limited Discovery Into C-Qur Patch Swedish Parent Company
CONCORD, N.H. - The New Hampshire federal judge overseeing the C-Qur mesh multidistrict litigation on Nov. 14 denied without prejudice a motion by the defendants' Swedish parent company to be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction and instead allowed plaintiffs to conduct limited discovery on personal jurisdiction (In Re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2753, No. 16-md-2753, D. N.J.).



Judge Won't Dismiss Case Against Sales Rep Who Recommended Wrong Graft
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 6 declined to dismiss a case in which a plaintiff alleges that a Medtronic Inc. sales representative was responsible for the death of her mother by recommending the wrong size aortic heart graft (Eva Westmoreland v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 17-1626, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18330).



$25M Set Aside For Common Benefit Fees In Fresenius MDL
BOSTON - The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing the Fresenius GranuFlo/NaturaLyte dialysate multidistrict litigation on Nov. 2 ordered that $27 million of the $250 million global settlement be set aside for plaintiffs' counsel common benefit fees and expenses (In Re: Fresenius GranuFlo/NaturaLyte Dialysate Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2428, D. Mass.).



3 Defendants Oppose MDL For Onglyza Diabetes Drug Federal Lawsuits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The three defendants in a proposed Onglyza/Kombiglyze multidistrict litigation on Nov. 2 told a federal judicial panel that it should deny centralization because there are fewer than 40 cases after two years of litigation and one plaintiff law firm represents most plaintiffs (In Re: Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2809, JPMDL).



Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty To Fraud In Compounded Drug Scheme
TAMPA, Fla. - The owner of several Florida pharmacies pleaded guilty on Nov. 6 to health care fraud and criminal gains for submitting $100 million in claims for compounded prescription drugs to health insurance programs (United States v. Nicholas A. Borgesano, Jr., No. 16-cr-353, M.D. Fla.).






5th Circuit: Neurostimulator Warranty Claim Not Preempted; Reliance Needs Proof
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 31 ruled that a plaintiff's express warranty claim about a Medtronic Inc. neurostimulator is not preempted, but it said that on remand, the district court could should consider if the plaintiff relied on the warranty (Ray Wildman v. Medtronic, Incorporated, et al., No. 17-50010, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21655).



11th Circuit Affirms Pelvic Mesh Group Trial, Exclusion Of 510(k) Status
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 said multidistrict litigation court judge did not err in consolidating four pelvic mesh cases for a bellwether trial and in excluding the so-called 510(k) defense raised by defendant Boston Scientific Corp. (BSC) (Amal Eghnayem, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 16-11818, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20432).



6th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Abilify False Claims, Kickback Qui Tam Case
CINCINNATI - In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 affirmed the dismissal of a false claims/kickback lawsuit about alleged off-label marketing of the antipsychotic drug Abilify (United States of America, ex rel. Joseph Ibanez, et al. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, et al., No. 16-3154, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21328).



Abilify MDL Judge Orders Defendants To Name Settlement Counsel
PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Florida federal judge overseeing the Abilify multidistrict litigation on Oct. 25 ordered the defendants to engage settlement counsel for monthly settlement conferences (In Re: Abilify [Aripiprazole] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2734, No. 16-md-2734, N.D. Fla., Pensacola Div.).



2nd Circuit Affirms Exclusion Of Mirena MDL Experts, Termination Of Litigation
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 affirmed the exclusion of general causation experts in the Mirena multidistrict litigation and a court order terminating the MDL before any trials were held (In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, Mirena MDL Plaintiffs v. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Nos. 16-2890 and 16-3012, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20875).



2 New Agreements Settle Remaining Wright Hip Cases; Judge Closes MDL
ATLANTA - Wright Medical Technology Inc. and plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation have entered two additional agreements settling the remainder of the litigation, a Georgia federal judge said Oct. 18 (In Re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability, MDL Docket No. 2329, No. 12-md-2329, N.D. Ga., Atlanta Div.).



NECC Pharmacist Convicted Of Racketeering, Mail Fraud, But Acquitted Of 25 Murders
BOSTON - The former supervising pharmacist of a compounding pharmacy at the center of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak was acquitted Oct. 25 of 25 federal counts of second-degree murder but was convicted of multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy, mail fraud and making adulterated and misbranded drugs (United States of America v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).



1 Testim Bellwether Trial Out, 1 Remains In Testosterone MDL; Preemption Denied
CHICAGO - An Illinois multidistrict litigation judge on Oct. 23 granted summary judgment in one of two testosterone replacement therapy bellwether cases but denied preemption in the second case (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176522).



AbbVie, AndroGel Plaintiff Spar Over Mixed Verdict In 1st Bellwether Trial Verdict
CHICAGO - AbbVie on Oct. 25 urged the judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation to not disturb a bellwether trial verdict where a jury awarded $0 compensatory damages (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Jesse Mitchell v. AbbVie, No. 14-9178, N.D. Ill.).



Fosamax Femur Plaintiffs Urge Supreme Court To Deny Preemption Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Counsel for more than 500 Fosamax femur fracture plaintiffs on Oct. 25 urged the U.S. Supreme Court to deny certiorari to Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., arguing that their claims are not preempted by "clear evidence" that the Food and Drug Administration would have rejected stronger warnings for the osteoporosis drug (Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp. v. Doris Albrecht, et al., No. 17-290, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4064).



1st Cook Medical IVC Filter MDL Bellwether Trial Gets Under Way In Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS - The first bellwether trial in the Cook Medical Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation got under way on Oct. 23 in Indianapolis federal court (In re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2570, No. 14-ml-2570, Elizabeth Jane Hill v. Cook Medical, Inc., No. 14-6016, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).



Cordis IVC Filter Plaintiffs Tell Supreme Court Trial Proposal Is No 'Mass Action'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Plaintiffs in an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter case on Oct. 18 told the U.S. Supreme Court that their suggestion of individual bellwether trials does not convert their actions into a mass action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 119 Stat. 4 (Cordis Corporation v. Jerry Dunson, et al., No. 17-257, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4013).



Indictment Of 7 Insys Execs For Opioid Sales Tactics Unsealed In Massachusetts
BOSTON - A federal indictment against seven high-ranking officers of opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. was unsealed Oct. 26 in a Massachusetts federal court charging the men with racketeering, mail fraud and conspiracy for a scheme to pay kickbacks to doctors for, and to fraudulently induce health insurers into approving, off-label prescriptions for the company's addictive Subsys fentanyl spray (United States of America v. Michael L. Babich, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).



Doctor Pleads Guilty To Opioid Health Care Fraud, Taking Kickbacks From Insys
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island doctor on Oct. 25 pleaded guilty to health care fraud and taking kickbacks for prescribing the opioid Subsys to unqualified patients (United States of America v. Jerrold N. Rosenberg, No. 17-9, D. R.I.).



'Big 3' Drug Distributors Support Opioid MDL; Municipalities Oppose
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The "Big Three" national drug distributors on Oct. 20 told a federal judicial panel that they support centralization of more than 60 opioid lawsuits filed against them by various cities and counties (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, JPMDL).



Taxotere MDL Judge Denies Statute Of Limitations Motion By Defendant Sanofi
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Taxotere multidistrict litigation on Oct. 27 denied without prejudice a motion by defendant Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC to dismiss claims barred by applicable statutes of limitations (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, No. 16-md-2740, E.D. La.).



'11th-Hour' Declaration Can't Overcome Learned Intermediary In Plavix MDL Case
TRENTON, N.J. - The judge overseeing the Plavix multidistrict litigation on Oct. 26 granted summary judgment in a case after ruling that the plaintiff's "eleventh hour" declaration by one treating physician did not overcome California's learned intermediary defense for defendants Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. (In Re: Plavix Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2418, No. 13-4518, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177588).



Philips North America Signs Consent Decree Suspending AED Manufacturing
BOSTON - Philips North America LLC on Oct. 11 signed a consent decree to suspend its manufacturing of certain automatic external defibrillator (AEDs) pending quality improvements being made at two plants (United States of America v. Philips North America LLC, et al., No. 17-11955, D. Mass.).



FDA: Continue Caution With Absorbable Stent; Abbott Stops Sales
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 31 reported that sales of the Absorb GT1 Biosorbable Vascular Scaffold stopped Sept. 14 and said health care providers should continue to carefully consider the safety and effectiveness of the stent-like device in light of study results showing an increased rate of major adverse cardiac events and clots in patients who receive the device.