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attorneys 541 articles

Talc litigation asks when to warn consumers of health risks

talc justice

An attorney analyzing the legal landscape for the Claims Journal used the talc litigation to examine the issue of failure to warn. He concluded that manufacturers and their insurers can’t assume that the argument that they are waiting on a scientific consensus about an alleged risk associated with their product will protect them from liability. In spite of the fact that scientists are still studying the effects of talc on the female reproductive system and that there is debate over how to interpret the decades of research that has already been done, three juries in 2016 found Johnson and Johnson to be liable ... Read More

Parties argue over allowed testimony ahead of first Xarelto bellwether trial

xarelto

The first bellwether trial in the massive multidistrict litigation involving bleeding risks with the blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto is scheduled to begin April 24, and already the courtroom is heating up. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer are urging the Louisiana federal judge overseeing the trial not to accommodate the plaintiffs’ request to limit what the drug companies can testify about during the trial. Those suing Janssen and Bayer filed a motion last month asking to exclude non-relevant testimony that could prejudice their case, such as “suggestions about a verdict’s potential effect on the pharmaceutical industry, manufacturers’ incentive or ... Read More

Risperdal lawsuits increasing in PA mass tort program

risperdal

More than 3,000 new Risperdal lawsuits were filed in the first quarter of 2017, increasing the number of filings in the mass tort program to more than 5,500, according to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Attorneys for plaintiffs suing the makers of Risperdal over claims that the antipsychotic drug could cause disfiguring side effects are cautioning consumers that the clock is now clicking on similar claims with the possibility of a statue of limitations now looming. Risperdal, known chemically as risperidone, is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. The drug ... Read More

Xarelto makers want to know if plaintiffs cases are funded by third parties

xarelto

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer, facing more than 1,200 cases in a mass tort over bleeding risks with their jointly produced blood thinner Xarelto, filed a motion requesting that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas force plaintiffs to reveal whether their lawsuits are being funded by a third party. The motion specifically targets cases that may be picked for the first wave of bellwether trials. If they are being financed, then the defendants want to know by whom. The defendants also requested access to any “third-party control, consultation, or funding” agreements. Currently, both parties are working to determine which ... Read More

Opioid abuse epidemic prompts senator to investigate drug manufacturers

Opioid abuse - Shutterstock

Leading prescription opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue, Insys, Mylan, and Depomed, received a letter from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill demanding documents and records dating back five years to show just how much the pharmaceutical companies knew of the drugs’ abuse risk, as well as documents involving marketing practices and sales presentations. McCaskill’s investigation is just one of several efforts made by lawmakers, state attorneys general and others aimed at quelling the growing prescription drug epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths involving prescription drugs have increased fourfold since ... Read More

Know the symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer

talc ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer, the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system, is only detected early 20 percent of the time. Once it spreads beyond the ovaries to other organs it is much more difficult to treat. Improving chances of early detection is an important goal in fighting this disease that is expected to affect more than 22,000 women in 2017. More than half of those diagnosed are expected to die as a result of the disease, 14,000 women in 2017. News outlets such as SimpleMost have taken up the challenge to spread knowledge about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which are often ... Read More

Alabama house passes bill imposing stricter penalties for fentanyl trafficking

Fentanyl

The Alabama House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would add potent opioid painkillers like fentanyl and Carfentanil to the list of scheduled drugs, creating harsher penalties for dealers, smugglers and traffickers of the deadly drugs. The bill now moves to the senate. Barry Matson, executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, calls the legislation a critical piece in stopping the flow of “poison” into the state. Fentanyl is a painkiller used in opioid-tolerant patients with pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment, such as cancer patients. It is 50 to 100 times more powerful than ... Read More

Judge supports punitive damages in talc litigation

talc justice

The fifth Missouri talc trial started April 10 before Judge Rex M. Burlison of the 22nd Circuit Court of St. Louis. Burlison presided over all of the court’s talc trials, including three last year resulting in verdicts in favor of plaintiffs who claimed Johnson and Johnson’s talc-containing products contributed to the development of their ovarian cancer. The St. Louis Record reports that as this new trial begins defendants Johnson and Johnson and Imerys, the company that supplies talc to J&J, are still busy arguing against last year’s losses. Specifically, both have filed post-trial motions against last October’s $70 million verdict. Among their arguments, ... Read More

Analysis: ‘Judicial Hellhole’ designation motivated by big business, not accurate assessment of talc litigation

talc justice

Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently talked to Thomas Stewart, director of the trial advocacy program at Saint Louis University School of Law about his city’s reputation and tort reform in regard to the recent talc litigation. “So much of this tort reform business is based on the idea that you file your case in the city of St. Louis, and the jury automatically gives you money. Of course that’s nonsense,” Stewart said. “City judges and juries analyze on a case by case basis.” St. Louis drew the ire of tort reform groups last year, when three separate juries returned verdicts for plaintiffs ... Read More

Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denies motion to consolidate federal PPI cases

PPI, kidney, chart - Shutterstock

In the January 2017 Hearing Session the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) met regarding motions to centralizing forming new multidistrict litigation (MDL). Filed on Feb. 2, the JPML issued an order denying transfer of MDL No. 2757 – IN RE: Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation. The plaintiffs had sought to centralize 15 federal PPI cases; the panel mentioned being informed of 24 additional similar cases. They requested that the MDL be formed in the Middle District of Louisiana, the District of New Jersey, the Southern District of Illinois, the District of Kansas, or the Western District of ... Read More