Articles Posted in Pharmaceutical defect cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has prevented 592 nonresidents from joining 86 California residents in suing Bristol-Myers Squibb in California state court for personal injury allegedly caused by Plavix, a blood thinner. At the state level, the California Supreme Court concluded that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment did not bar the out-of-state residents from suing the corporation, BMS, in state court.

In the vigorous dissent written by Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s majority opinion explained, “The nonresidents were not prescribed Plavix in California, did not purchase Plavix in California, did not ingest Plavix in California and were not injured by Plavix in California.

The mere fact that other plaintiffs were prescribed, obtained and ingested Plavix in California – and allegedly sustained the same injuries as did the nonresidents – does not allow the state to assert specific jurisdiction over the nonresidents’ claims.”
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In Illinois it is well-settled law that prohibits defendants and their lawyers from communicating with treating physicians without the consent of the patient. In this case, plaintiffs sued five pharmaceutical companies in federal court where it was claimed they were injured by testosterone-replacement products.

In this multidistrict litigation case, one of the defendants, AbbVie Inc. requested that the federal court trial judge bar attorneys on both sides from having pre-deposition contacts with treating physicians of plaintiffs.

In the opinion written by U.S. District Judge Mathew F. Kennelly, the court, following Illinois law, stated that either side’s counsel may interview a witness and prepare him or her for the deposition by previewing the questions that may be asked, reviewing relevant documents and so on. There is nothing at all improper about this.  Indeed, adequate witness preparation is a key of good trial (and deposition) preparation.  In short there is no prohibition of pre-deposition of pre-testimony contact between a lawyer and the ordinary fact witness.

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The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal from Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen, which had been penalized $124 million for deceptive marketing of its anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal. The federal district court has entered a ruling that Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. should pay penalties for violating South Carolina law. In 2011, it was found that Janssen had been downplaying the effects of its drug Risperdal by claiming that it was safer than other similar competing medications.

The total penalty of $124 million for deceptive marketing was the largest drug marketing award in state history and largest penalty levied for violations of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.

It was claimed that Janssen knew that Risperdal was related to health problems that they hid from doctors. Instead, Janssen publicized studies that it claimed were evidence that the drug lowered incidences of diabetes and weight gain when compared to other similar medicines. Those claims were false.

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More than 25 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corporation, in consolidated cases in the Louisiana federal district court regarding the serious side effects of the blood-thinning drug, Xarelto.

Xarelto has been associated with serious side effects, including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleeds and death.

It has been reported that thousands of individuals — patients who have been prescribed Xarelto as a blood-thinner  — have been affected. The presiding federal judge is Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

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