Product Liability/Mass Torts
Pfizer, its lawyers at Mayer Brown, and its pharma allies have launched a last-ditch effort to undo a state court's ruling that the company is liable for injuries caused by generic drugs it didn't manufacture.
Bailey Perrin Bailey struck gold last week, when a judge in Arkansas awarded the firm a whopping $181 million for representing the state in a Medicaid fraud case against Johnson & Johnson. Meanwhile, on the same day, lawyers for Merck at Skadden pressed a judge in Kentucky to break up that state's alliance with private lawyers in litigation over Vioxx.
Life's been mostly good for generic drug manufacturers ever since Pliva v. Mensing, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 ruling that state law failure-to-warn claims against generics are preempted by federal labeling requirements. Mensing, however, didn't touch on state design defect laws, and now at least two courts have ruled that those design defect claims are not preempted.
For the second time in three months, Pfizer has avoided a bellwether trial over claims that its smoking cessation drug, Chantix, causes suicidal thoughts.
The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday allowed a patient who claims that he was harmed by taking the generic version of a Pfizer drug to continue his suit against Pfizer. The ruling stands in contrast to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that bars users of generic drugs from bringing failure-to warn suits against the manufacturers of the brand-name counterparts.
Handing a loss to Medtronic and its lawyers at Reed Smith, the Ninth Circuit majority concluded that medical device plaintiffs can avoid federal pre-emption.
Plaintiffs lawyers missed a chance to strike a body blow to defendants facing breast cancer-related claims over a long-discredited synthetic estrogen treatment this week, when the first such case to go before a jury settled in the midst of trial.
Yet another appeals court has rejected the idea that so-called parens patriae lawsuits--in which a state government sues on behalf of its citizens--are just class actions in disguise.
Toyota has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle multi-district litigation over financial losses associated with acceleration problems reported in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The Japanese car maker and plaintiffs lawyers filed a copy of their proposed settlement Wednesday in federal court in Orange County, California.