Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals is looking to send Invokana lawsuits piling up in Philadelphia to other courts, starting with a forum non conveniens motion seeking to have plaintiff Joyce Jeffries’ case transferred from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the plaintiff’s former home state of Tennessee.
Jeffries, like dozens of others, have filed lawsuits alleging Janssen did not adequately warn of Invokana side effects including kidney failure and ketoacidosis, a buildup of acid in the blood. Invokana, known chemically as canagliflozin, is in a class of type 2 diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors.
Jeffries’ lawsuit alleges she suffered from both kidney failure and ketoacidosis as well as a stroke as a result of taking Invokana. Janssen’s forum non conveniens motion claims that the lawsuit should be moved to Tennessee because the plaintiff took the medication, developed the allegedly related medical problems, and was hospitalized in Tennessee. Janssen also claims Jeffries has no connection to Philadelphia to justify filing the lawsuit there, as none of the clinical research and development were conducted in Pennsylvania.
Jeffries’ lawsuit, like 90 percent of the first 20 cases filed in Philadelphia, involved plaintiffs that lived outside the state, Janssen contends.
Janssen did acknowledge that it is incorporated in Pennsylvania, but said its principal place of business is New Jersey, thus it would be a burden on Pennsylvania courts to have so many cases tried there.
“Plaintiff may perceive a benefit in having a Philadelphia County jury adjudicate her claims. Or she may hope that a critical mass of Invokana cases will lead to the creation of a coordinate proceeding in Philadelphia and that her claims might escape adjudication altogether,” the motion said. “Whatever plaintiff’s motivations, her case does not belong in Philadelphia County.”
Source: The Legal Intelligencer