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$35M Punitive Damage Award Raises Verdict To $68M In Bard Pelvic Mesh Bellwether
HACKENSACK, N.J. - A day after awarding a couple $33 million in compensatory damages in New Jersey's first C.R. Bard Inc. pelvic mesh trial, the same jury on April 13 awarded $35 million in punitive damages (Mary McGinnis, et al. v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., No. BER-L-17543-14, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).



Propecia Claimant Settlement Fund Listed As $4.29M; $5,000 Is Top Minimum Award
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Despite an earlier statement that the terms of a master settlement agreement for 562 Propecia injuries cases will be sealed, the plaintiffs on April 10 filed a proposed plan of allocation that disclosed that the total claimant fund is $4,292,000 provided that 100 percent of the plaintiffs participate (In Re: Propecia [Finasteride] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2331, No. 12-md-2331, E.D. N.Y.).



Allergan Pays $3.5M For False Claims, Off-Label Marketing Of Lap-Band Device
BALTIMORE - Allergan Inc. has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company caused doctors to submit false claims to federal health care programs and that it marketed its Lap-Band weight loss device for unapproved uses, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland announced April 18 (United States ex rel. Monte Schwartz, M.D., et al. v. Allergan, Inc., No. 10-2796, D. Md.).



Solicitor General Asked To Weigh In On False Claims Petition By U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 asked the U.S. solicitor general for his views on whether false claims lawsuits can be brought when the federal government continued to pay for drugs at issue (Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Jeffrey Campie, et al., No. 17-936, U.S. Sup.).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Review DePuy Metal Hip False Claims Revival
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 denied certiorari in a whistleblower case brought by two British surgeons against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. for alleged false claims made for ASR and Pinnacle metal-on-metal hips (Medical Device Business Services, Inc., et al. v. United States, ex rel. Antoni Nargol, et al., U.S. Sup., No. 17-1108, U.S. Sup.).



Parties Want Punitives In Surgical Gown Class Simply Reduced, Followed By Appeals
LOS ANGELES - All parties in a surgical gown class action on April 9 and 10 told a California federal judge that that they would prefer for the court to simply reduce the $450 million punitive damage award so they can skip a punitives-only retrial and proceed directly to appeals (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



11th Circuit: Alabama's Learned Intermediary Bars Amiodarone Warning Claim
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 affirmed dismissal of an amiodarone off-label injury case, saying the claim is barred by Alabama's learned intermediary doctrine (Barbara R. Tutwiler v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 17-13985, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9092).



3rd Circuit Affirms Zostavax Injury Claim Is Time-Barred
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 4 affirmed summary judgment in an adult Zostavax case, agreeing that the plaintiff missed the applicable statutes of limitation in suing manufacturer Merck & Co. Inc. (Chris Juday, et al. v. Merck & Co. Inc., et al., No. 17-2081, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8516).



California Appeals Court: Language Barrier Saves Avandia Injury Claims
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on April 16 reversed summary judgment against four Avandia plaintiffs, agreeing with the plaintiffs that the ability to speak only Armenian left them without constructive notice to file their drug injury claims against GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) before the applicable two-year statute of limitations (Sofik Tsaturyan, et al. v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, No. B275168, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7).



Actos MDL Closed After 6 Years, $2.37B Settlement
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Actos multidistrict litigation on April 11 closed the six-year-old case, stating that all pending matters have been resolved, remaining cases remanded or transferred to other venues and all administrative matters addressed (In Re: Actos [Pioglitazone] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 11-md-2299, W.D. La.).



1st Bair Hugger Bellwether Trial Will Proceed May 14 After Pretrial Rulings
MINNEAPOLIS - The first bellwether trial in the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation will proceed after the Minneapolis federal judge overseeing the MDL on April 13 denied exclusion of three plaintiff experts and only partly granted defense motions for summary judgment (Louis Gareis, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-4187, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62568).



Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Most Plaintiff Claims In Theranos Class Action
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on April 10 dismissed with prejudice seven claims in a consolidated class action lawsuit against Theranos Inc. but denied dismissal of 13 claims against various defendants, including ones for RICO, unjust enrichment, fraud, battery and medical battery, aiding and abetting and breach of contract (In Re: Arizona Theranos, Inc. Litigation, No. 16-2138, et al., D. Ariz.).



Opioid MDL Judge Names Negotiating Team For Retail Chain Pharmacies
CLEVELAND - The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on April 9 appointed a negotiating team for retail chain pharmacies (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2904, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio).



2nd Pennsylvania Xarelto Trial Under Way In Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania's second complex litigation Xarelto trial got under way April 6 in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court (Daniel I. Russell, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 150500362, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



MDL Sought For Hernia Mesh Patches Made By C.R. Bard, Davol
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Plaintiffs on April 10 asked a federal judicial panel to centralize 55 hernia mesh cases against C.R. Bard Inc., Davol Inc. and Becton Dickinson in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio or the Western District of Mississippi (In Re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2846, JPMDL).



Centralization Of Ethicon Hernia Mesh Cases Weighed In New Jersey State Court
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey's courts administrator on April 11 said an application has been received for a multicounty litigation (MCL) designation for state court cases involving multilayered hernia mesh products made by the Ethicon Inc. division of Johnson & Johnson.



Essure Risk Checklist Must Be Used By Doctors, FDA Says
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Essure birth control device will be restricted to health care providers who use a Food and Drug Administration-approved checklist about the device's risks, the FDA announced April 9.






Judge: Cut Punitives In Surgical Gown Case From $450M To $20.7M Or Get New Trial
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 30 said a class of surgical gown purchasers can accept a reduction of punitive damages from $450 million to $20.75 million or opt for a new trial to determine "the proper amount of punitive damages" (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



$3.6M Awarded To Plaintiff In 1st C.R. Bard IVC MDL Bellwether Trial
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal jury on March 30 awarded a plaintiff $3.6 million in the first C.R. Bard inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2641, No. 15-2641, Sherr-Una Booker v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., No. 16-474, D. Ariz.).



Retrial Of 1st AndroGel MDL Bellwether Case Nets Split Verdict, $3.2M Damages
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal court jury retrying the first AndroGel bellwether case on March 26 again issued a split verdict, finding in favor of defendant AbbVie Inc. on the claims of strict liability and fraudulent misrepresentation but in favor of plaintiff Jesse Mitchell for his claim of negligence and awarding him a total of $3.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Jesse Mitchell v. AbbVie, No. 14-9178, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).



Defense Verdict Returned In Connecticut Pradaxa Wrongful Death Trial
HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut state court jury on March 23 said Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. failed to provide an adequate warning that its Pradaxa anticoagulant could cause uncontrolled internal bleeding but also ruled that a daughter representing her mother's estate failed to prove that the defendant's wrongful conduct was the legal cause of the mother's injury (Geralynn Boone, et al. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. X03-HHD-CV16-6067796-S, Conn. Super., Hartford Co.).



Alere Pays $33.2M To Settle False Claims Suit Involving Fast Blood Chemistry Tests
BALTIMORE - Alere Inc. and subsidiary Alere San Diego (Alere) have agreed to pay $33.2 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that they sold federal health programs rapid blood chemistry test devices that the defendants knew were unreliable, the U.S. Justice Department announced March 23 (United States, ex rel. Amanda Wu v. Alere San Diego, et al., No. 11-1808, D. Md.).



Theranos CEO Will Pay $500,000, Give Up Control To Settle SEC Fraud Lawsuit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Theranos Inc. CEO Elizabeth Holmes has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty, to return her remaining 18.9 million shares to the company, to relinquish voting control of the company she started and to be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for 10 years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced March 14 after filing a civil fraud claim against Holmes and Theranos (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Elizabeth Holmes, et al., No. 18-1602, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.).



Recklessness Claim Can Be Filed In Generic Warning Label Case, State Court Says
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on March 16 vacated the dismissal of a Proscar (finasteride) claim against Merck & Co. Inc., ruling that the plaintiff can amend his complaint to bring a common-law recklessness claim against Merck for allegedly failing to update the drug label to warn of a risk of permanent impotency cause by the generic version of the drug (Brian Rafferty v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. AJC-12347, Mass. Sup.).



Supreme Court Won't Review Mirena MDL Expert, Judgment Rulings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 19 declined to wade into a dispute over a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling excluding experts from the Mirena multidistrict litigation or its finding that the company's own alleged admissions on causation could not save the litigation (Mirena MDL, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical Inc., et al., No. 17-1037, U.S. Sup.).



9th Circuit's Ruling On Experts In Suit Against Drugmaker Stands
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A wrongful death suit filed by parents against a pharmaceutical company is headed back to the trial court after the U.S. Supreme Court on March 19 declined to review the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' reversal of the trial court's exclusion of expert causation testimony (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Stephen Wendell, et ux., No. 17-747, U.S. Sup.).



Arkansas Supreme Court Again Rules On Disclosure Of Execution Drugs
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - In a split decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court on March 29 ruled that the identity of drug manufacturers that make drugs used for executions is not protected by the state's Method of Execution Act but reversed a trial court ruling that required the state to produce unredacted records that could tend to identify drug suppliers (Arkansas Department of Correction, et al. v. Steven Shults, No. CV-17-544, Ark. Sup., 2018 Ark. LEXIS 68).



New Jersey Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Hernia Patch Case
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on March 19 affirmed summary judgment in a hernia patch case, finding that no plaintiff experts opined that the device was defective and none testified that it failed to meet the standard of care for hernia repair (Kemuel Goodson v. C.R. Bard, et al., No. A-3280-15T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 613).



En Banc Rehearing Denied In Pennsylvania Risperdal Punitives Ruling
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on March 16 denied a motion by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to conduct an en banc rehearing of a panel's recent ruling reversing the trial court's omnibus prohibition against punitive damages in the state's Risperdal gynecomastia cases (Timothy Stange v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., Nos. 739 EDA 2016 and 1549 EDA 2016, Pa. Super.).



Risperdal Suit Remanded After Judge Refuses To Apply High Court Ruling
ST. LOUIS - The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California did not extend the 30-day period in which the makers of Risperdal could remove a products liability suit, a federal judge in Missouri ruled March 20 in remanding the suit to state court (Dolphin Moody, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 17CV2029 HEA, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45270).



1st Bard Bellwether Pelvic Mesh Trial Under Way In New Jersey State Court
HACKENSACK, N.J. - New Jersey's first C.R. Bard Inc. pelvic mesh bellwether trial got under way March 19 in Bergen County Superior Court (Mary McGinnis, et al. v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., No. BER-L.-17543-14, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).



Judge: NECC Pharmacist's Restitution Victims Were Hospitals, Clinics
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on March 20 said he will order the convicted supervising pharmacist of the former New England Compounding Center (NECC) to pay restitution but not the $82 million the United States has asked for, and then only to medical facilities that bought NECC's compounded drugs and only after all defendants have been tried and exhausted their appeals (United States of America v. Glenn Chin, No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).



1st Circuit Denies Motion To Allow Trial Court To Issue NECC Restitution Order
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 27 denied a motion by the United States to advise a district court that it may proceed with a restitution order against former New England Compounding Center (NECC) CEO Barry J. Cadden while cross-appeals are pending (United States v. Barry J. Cadden, Nos. 17-1694, 17-1712 and 17-2062, 1st Cir.).



United States Wants To Act As A Friend Of The Court In Opioid MDL Case
CLEVELAND - The United States on April 2 moved to participate in settlement discussions in the opioid multidistrict litigation as a friend of the court, telling the MDL court that instead of making the government's other opioid actions part of the MDL, it will instead provide its information and expertise to help craft a settlement for nonmonetary remedies (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).



Opioid Distributors Must Share Order Screening Methods, Opioid MDL Judge Rules
CLEVELAND - The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on March 27 ruled that requiring distributor defendants to share their techniques for identifying suspicious orders for opioids does not violate antitrust laws and said public interest in solving the opioid crisis outweighs any concerns about proprietary or confidential information (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).



Yurok Tribe Files RICO Lawsuit Against 8 Opioid Drug Makers
SAN FRANCISCO - The Yurok Tribe of Native Americans on March 12 filed an opioid RICO complaint against eight drug manufacturers, alleging that the companies misrepresented the addictive nature of their drugs and are causing a financial and social burden on the tribe (The Yurok Tribe v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 18-1566, N.D. Calif., San Francisco Div.).



Hepatitis Infections Cases Removed As A Mass Action Are Sent Back To State Court
BECKLEY, W.Va. - More than 100 cases that were consolidated in state court only for discovery were improperly removed to a West Virginia federal court as a mass action, a federal judge ruled April 2, granting the plaintiffs' motions to remand (W.B., et al. v. Raleigh Heart Clinic, Inc., et al., No. 18-100, S.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55932).



Michigan Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal Of Infuse Legal Malpractice Suit
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on March 1 partially reversed summary judgment in an Infuse legal malpractice case, finding that a plaintiff attorney was negligent in not asserting a fraud claim against underlying defendant Medtronic Inc. (Clinton J. Thorne v. Judy E. Bregman, et al., No. 338384, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 412).



Minnesota Appeals Court Partially Reverses Preemption In Drug Pump Death Case
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals panel on March 26 partially reversed dismissal of a drug pump case, finding that the plaintiff's manufacturing defect and failure-to-warn claims are not preempted by federal law (Patricia A. Jones, et al. v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. A17-1124, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 231).



Drug-Coding Company Asks 9th Circuit To Stay Case Pending Appeal
PASADENA, Calif. - A drug-coding database on March 26 filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, requesting that the appeals court stay an underlying case filed by a pharmaceutical company that asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state law claims against it, pending its appeal of a decision denying its motion to strike (Exeltis USA Inc. v. First Databank Inc., 18-70859, 9th Cir.).



Supplement Seller Enters Consent Decree For Selling Unapproved Drugs
ORLANDO, Fla. - A dietary supplement supplier on March 27 signed a consent decree of permanent injunction with the United States for allegedly distributing unapproved and misbranded new drugs (United States of America v. MyNicNaxs LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-389, M.D. Fla.).






U.S. High Court Won't Review State's Hiring Of Outside Counsel In Opioid Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 5 declined to review New Hampshire's hiring of a law firm on a contingency basis to pursue a civil lawsuit against four opioid drug manufacturers (Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. New Hampshire, No. 17-633, U.S. Sup.).



DEA Relents, Will Identify High-Volume Opiate Drug Makers, Distributers
CLEVELAND - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on March 5 told the opioid multidistrict litigation court that it will produce information identifying drug companies and distributors that sold 95 percent of opiates in each state from 2006 through 2014 (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).



United States Say It's Evaluating Participation In Opioid MDL
CLEVELAND - The United States on March 1 asked the opioid multidistrict litigation court to give the government 30 days to evaluate whether it should participate in the MDL (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).



$35M Awarded In Indiana Federal Court Pelvic Mesh Trial
HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal jury on March 8 returned a $35 million verdict in an Ethicon Inc. pelvic mesh trial, including $25 million in punitive damages (Barbara Kaiser, et al. v Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 17-114, N.D. Ind., Hammond Div.).



Neomedic Pelvic Mesh MDL Officially Closed, Leaving 6 In West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the Neomedic pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on March 12 officially ordered the MDL to be closed (In Re: Neomedic Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2511, No. 14-md-2511, S.D. W.Va.).



Heart Pump Maker Abiomed Pays $3.1M Civil Penalty For Inducing Use Of Its Devices
BOSTON - Heart pump maker Abiomed Inc. has agreed to pay $3.1 million to resolve a False Claims Act, 31 U.S. Code 3729, lawsuit that the company bought lavish meals for physicians to induce the doctors to use the company's Impella line of heart pumps, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts announced March 8.



California Appeals Court Reinstates $4.5M Verdict In Wright Hip Case
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on March 6 reversed a trial court judge's order for a new damages trial in a Wright Medical Technology Inc. Profemur R metal-on-metal hip case and reinstated the $4.5 million verdict (Alan Warner, et al. v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., No. B267907, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1494).



3rd Circuit: 1 Premarket Component In 'Mixed' Device Warrants Preemption
PHILADELPHIA - In a case of first impression involving a medical device of "mixed" components, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 said a plaintiff's claims of negligence, strict liability and breach of express warranty in a metal-on-metal hip case are expressly preempted by federal law (Walter Shuker, et al. v. Smith & Nephew, PLC, et al., No. 16-3785, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5160).



7th Circuit Affirms $87,500 Quantum Meruit Fee In DePuy ASR Hip Case
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 affirmed an $87,500 quantum meruit award to an attorney who represented a plaintiff in a DePuy ASR hip case before the client fired him and accepted a $250,000 settlement offer from the defendant (Dustan Dobbs v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 17-2195, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 6213).



7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment In 2nd NexGen Knee Bellwether Case
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 8 affirmed summary judgment in the second NexGen knee multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, finding that the Wisconsin Supreme Court would agree that the learned intermediary doctrine barred the plaintiff's failure-to-warn claim (In Re: Zimmer, NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation, Appeal of: Theodore F. Joas, et al., No. 16-3957, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5863).



5th Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment In Hernia Patch Case
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 reversed summary judgment in a hernia mesh patch case, finding that a trial court erred in discounting plaintiffs' evidence about the manufacturer of device (Randy A. Roberts, Sr., et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 17-30601, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5995).



Summary Judgment Granted In Last Claim In Cook IVC Case Set For Bellwether Trial
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on March 9 granted summary judgment on the remaining claim in a Cook Medical Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) filter bellwether case, agreeing with the defendant that the breach of the implied warranty of merchantability claim is time-barred (In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2570, No. 14-ml-2570, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).



Warning, Punitive Claims Survive For May 15 Bard IVC Filter Bellwether
PHOENIX - The judge overseeing the C.R. Bard Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) multidistrict litigation on March 12 trimmed claims that will go to a May 15 trial, leaving only claims for failure to warn and punitive damages (In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2641, No. 15-2641, Doris Jones, et al. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., No. 16-782, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40020).



1st Bard IVC Filter MDL Bellwether Trial Under Way March 14
PHOENIX - The first bellwether trial in the C.R. Bard Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) filter multidistrict litigation is scheduled to get under way on March 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2641, No. 15-2641, Sherr-Una Booker v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., No. 16-474, D. Ariz.).



Retrial Of AndroGel Bellwether Case Under Way March 7
CHICAGO - The retrial of an AndroGel multidistrict litigation bellwether case got underway March 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Jesse Mitchell v. AbbVie, No. 14-9178, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).



Zimmer Takes $15.8M Charge While Deciding On Further Appeal Of Knee Verdict
WARSAW, Ind. - Zimmer Biomet said in a Feb. 27 financial filing that it has taken a charge of about $15.8 million for a remitted and molded verdict and post-judgment interest in a knee prosthesis case while considering whether it will appeal a Dec. 15 Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling affirming a $21.5 million award (Margo Polett, et al. v. Public Communications, Inc., et al., No. 80 EDA 2017, Pa. Super.).



Court Asked To Declare That Theranos Settlement Doesn't Preclude Individual Claims
PHOENIX - A plaintiff on March 9 moved to intervene in the Arizona attorney general's consumer violation settlement with Theranos Inc., saying a state court should declare that the state settlement does not extinguish claims by a purported class of state citizens who say they were harmed by Theranos' blood-testing services (In Re: Arizona Theranos, Inc., Litigation, No. 16-2138, D. Ariz., Arizona, et al. v. Theranos, Inc., No. CV2017-006644, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).



7th Circuit Depakote Birth Defect Appeals On Hold Pending Settlement Talks
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 23 suspended the appeals of 30 Depakote birth defect plaintiffs pending what the parties called "complex settlement negotiations" (Rhealyn Alexander, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., Nos. 17-2503 and 17-3228, 7th Cir.).



Shkreli Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Securities Fraud Scheme
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Convicted former pharmaceutical company CEO and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli will spend the next 6-1/2 years in prison after a federal judge in New York on March 9 sentenced him to seven years' imprisonment for his role in bilking investors of millions of dollars of investments (United States of America v. Martin Shkreli, No. 15-637, E.D. N.Y.).



Judge Refuses To Stay Case Pending Drug-Coding Company's 9th Circuit Appeal
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 5 denied a drug-coding database's motion to stay a case pending its appeal of a decision denying its motion to strike a pharmaceutical company's claims for violation of California unfair competition law (UCL) and other state law claims, finding that no substantive overlap on the merits of the state and federal law claims existed, requiring a divestiture of jurisdiction (Exeltis USA Inc. v. First Databank Inc., No. 17-cv-04810, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35737).