News and Updates
The first transvaginal mesh trial, in a Northern California state court, against mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc., resulted in a $5.5 million dollar verdict for the Plaintiff. In that case, the Plaintiffs alleged that the Bard Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh implant was defective and the manufacturer failed to warn about its safety risks. The Bard Avaulta Plus caused complications that that left the Plaintiff incontinent with chronic pain and the inability to have sex. The Plaintiff had multiple surgeries to correct the injuries, but the damage done was to a large extent irreparable.
The second vaginal mesh trial in the United States, and the first involving Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary), resulted in a $11.1 million verdict for Plaintiff, Linda Gross and her husband. Gross received a Ethicon Prolift implant in 2006, after suffering from pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Since the implantation, Gross had to undergo several subsequent surgeries to correct the injuries she sustained after receiving the Ethicon Prolift. In phase one of the trial in Atlantic County, New Jersey, Plaintiff prevailed on the charge that Defendants failed to adequately warn the doctor and patient. The jury found for the defendants, however, on other theories of recovery, including defective design. Ultimately, the jury awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages. Because this case involved a device implanted pre-FDA clearance, Judge Higbee ordered that the jury could consider awarding punitive damages. After listening to the evidence presented in phase two of the trial regarding punitive damages, the jury decided to tack on an additional $7.76 million as punitive damages.
These first two verdicts are excellent results. The next trial is set to begin in June 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against C.R. Bard, Inc. Bellwether cases are being selected in AMS and Ethicon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia as well. On the state court front, trials in Texas and New Mexico are scheduled to begin this fall. Hopefully, the jury verdicts continue to be as successful as the first two trials.
Robert L. Salim of Salim-Beasley, LLC, was appointed on April 13, 2012, to the Plaintiff Steering Committee on the Vaginal Mesh MDL No. 2325 in the United District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia – Charleston Division under Judge Goodwin. Salim-Beasley, LLC, is handling along with Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, over 5,000 Vaginal Mesh related injuries.
All of Plaintiffs counsel's cases against Abbott Laboratories Inc. involving Depakote have been consolidated in federal court in the Southern District of Illinois in front of Judge G. Patrick Murphy. Judge Murphy has set two bellwether cases for trial in October of 2013.
ATTORNEY GENERAL CASES
In the Louisiana Attorney General's case against Risperdal® manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutica, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff on August 31, 2012, Buddy Caldwell, et al v. Janssen Pharaceutica, Inc., Docket No. 11-CA-1184 c/w 11-CA-1185.
The firm of Salim-Beasley, LLC, is also pleased to announce the firm of Bailey Perrin Bailey, a co-partner in the Risperdal® Attorney General actions, has obtained a 1.2 billion dollar verdict on behalf of the State of Arkansas.
We recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana against Plavix manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squib, Caldwell v. Bristol Myers Squibb, et al, Docket No. 12-C-0403, in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Despite an attempt to remove the case to federal court, successful remand put it back in St. Landry Parish.
The Avandia® settlement in East St. Louis, Illinois, is nearing completion and clients should start receiving their compensation in the immediate future.
Our firm is prosecuting Pradaxa cases both in state courts and in the multi-district litigation ("MDL") pending in the Southern District of Illinois. Discovery is in full swing in both the federal and state court cases. In the MDL, Judge Herndon holds monthly status conferences to keep the litigation moving forward and to rule on any disputes that may arise. At this time, the first trial in the MDL is currently scheduled to begin in August 2014.
In a jurisdictional victory over Plavix manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squib, plaintiffs in Davidson, et al v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, et al, Case No. 3:12-cv-00058,
et al v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, et al, Case No. 3:12-cv-00061, and
et al v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, et al, Case No. 3:12-cv-00060, successfully remanded their cases back to Illinois state court. Judge Murphy of the Southern District of Illinois specifically rejected removal of the cases to federal court on diversity and CAFA grounds. In remanding the case, Judge Murphy found the removal argument frivolous enough to warrant issuance of sanctions against Bristol-Myers and its attorneys. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, and the manufacturer's petition for Writ of Certiorari has been denied by the United States Supreme Court.
The County Counsel for Santa Clara County, California sued the makers of Plavix (Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis) on behalf of the People of the State of California under the California False Advertising Law, California Business & Professions Code §§ 17535, 17536. Among other allegations, the People contend that Defendants bilked State and private healthcare service providers and payers out of millions of dollars through false representations that Plavix was safe and more efficacious than aspirin, which cost a hundred times less than Plavix. The People's case against Bristol-Myers and Sanofi was filed on May 8, 2012. On June 22, 2012, Defendants removed the case to federal court. But, on September 17, 2012, the federal court determined it had no jurisdiction over the case and granted the People's Motion to Remand the case to state court, where it is now proceeding.
As of February 4, 2013, there were 1,498 cases filed in Cook County, Illinois, and discovery is underway. Five bellwether cases have been set for trial. The first trial date is expected to take place on March 3, 2014, with the remaining bellwethers to start three months thereafter.
In separate rulings by different judges, the federal court ruled against Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer in Wilson et al v. Pfizer, Inc., 3:11-cv-01078-GPM-PMF, and
Saville et al v. Pfizer, Inc., 3:12-cv-00028-JPG-SCW, and remanded the cases back to the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois, while refusing to rule on the manufacturer's motions to sever the cases.
Over Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer's specific request that the Multidistrict Litigation be transferred to New York, the Judicial Panel transferred IN RE: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2342, to Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at plaintiffs' request. These actions involve allegations that Zoloft, a prescription medication approved for the treatment of depression and other ailments, causes birth defects in children when their mothers ingest the drug while pregnant.