MDL Judge in Xeralto Denies Motion to Limit Ex Parte Communications with Treating Physicians

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In the Multi-District Litigation pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana regarding the drug, Xeralto, Judge Fallon recently issued an order addressing two separate motions brought by the defendants: (i) a motion to limit ex parte communications between plaintiffs’ counsel and the plaintiff’s prescribing and/or treating physicians, and (ii) a motion to permit the defendants to hire experts who may have …

New York Superior Court Denies Motion to Seal Documents in Product Liability Action in the Interest of Public Policy

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Two parents sued Graco after their child died due to an alleged defect in a Graco stroller. The parties negotiated a settlement that contained a confidentiality agreement, and the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion to seal with the court. While acknowledging the propriety of confidentiality of court proceedings under limited circumstances, the court noted that the inquiry into whether to …

U.S. Ninth Circuit Upholds $2.7 Million in Sanctions Against Goodyear and Its Attorneys for Discovery Abuses Uncovered After Settlement and “History of Engaging in Serious Discovery Misconduct” in G159 Cases

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In June 2003, the plaintiffs were seriously injured when one of the Goodyear G159 tires on the front of their motor home failed, causing their vehicle to swerve off the road and overturn. They filed suit against Goodyear in 2005 in Arizona state court. The case was quickly removed to federal court. Goodyear was represented by Basile J. Musnuff, who …

Actos MDL Judge Approves a 25:1 Punitive Damage Ratio against the Manufacturers

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Judge Doherty, sitting in the Western District of Louisiana, and presiding over the Actos multi-district litigation, approved a ratio of 25:1 in punitive damages to compensatory damages, resulting in an award of punitive damages against Takeda in the amount of $27,656,250.00 and against Lilly in the amount of $9,218,750.00, where: – The Defendants knew or should have known that their product increased …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Refuses to Revive Claims Against Brand Manufacturer for Injuries from Generic Version of Drug (Reglan).

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Plaintiff argued that the US Supreme Court’s decision in PLIVA v. Mensing, 131 S.Ct. 2567 (2011) should render the brand manufacturer liable for the warning label and other properties utilized by generic manufacturers.  According to the plaintiff, Mensing undermined the logic of the U.S. Fourth Circuit’s decision in Foster v. American Home Products Corp., 29 F.3d 165 (4th Cir. 1994) (relied …

U.S. Supreme Court Holds State Law Claims Preempted by the Locomotive Inspection Act.

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Plaintiff was employed as a welder and machinist who worked in locomotive repair and maintenance facilities. In 2005, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and filed suit in Pennsylvania State Court against 59 defendants, including respondents RFPC and Viad, who distributed locomotive brakeshoes locomotive engine valves containing asbestos. The Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) provides that: A railroad carrier may use or …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Sustains Claim for Breach of Implied Warranty Against Hip Manufacturer to the Extent that Defendant Did Not Comply with Requirements of FDA.

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Patient who underwent hip replacement surgery sued company that designed, manufactured, and marketed hip prosthesis that malfunctioned under number of theories including products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty, as well as the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. “In summary, Bass pleaded: (1) he received a Shell implant; (2) the FDA had previously warned Stryker of bioburden in excess of …

U.S. Supreme Court holds that Manufacturers of Generic Drugs have No Duty to Warn.

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Federal drug regulations, as interpreted by the FDA, prevent the manufacturer of a generic drug from independently changing the safety label. In general, a manufacturer seeking federal approval to market a new drug must prove that it is safe and effective and that the proposed label is accurate and adequate. Although the same rules originally applied to all drugs, the …

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that All Design Defect Claims Against Vaccine Manufacturers are Preempted.

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Congress enacted the NCVIA in 1986. The Act establishes a no-fault compensation program, whereby a person injured by a vaccine, or his legal guardian, may file a petition for compensation in the United States Court of Federal Claims, naming the Secretary of Health and Human Services as the respondent. A special master then makes an informal adjudication of the petition …

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that State Law No-Shoulder-Belt Claims Against Auto Manufacturers Are Not Preempted.

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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 (1989 version) requires, among other things, that auto manufacturers install seatbelts on the rear seats of passenger vehicles. They must install lap-and-shoulder belts on seats next to a vehicle’s doors or frames. But they have a choice about what to install on rear inner seats (say, middle seats or those next to a minivan’s …