Author Archives: H. Lockwood Miller III

Trio of Favorable Preemption Decisions for New Jersey Pharmaceutical Companies

A trio of recent preemption decisions – from the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the Superior Court of New Jersey – are good news for pharmaceutical companies facing product liability suits in New Jersey. First, in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Barlett, the United States Supreme Court issued an important ruling (copy available here) on several critical issues affecting product liability suits against generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.  Bartlett involved claims by a woman that…

Continue Reading....

Statute of Limitations Substantive not Procedural for Foreign Plaintiff Suing in New Jersey

In an opinion released on June 14, 2013, a panel of New Jersey’s Appellate Division reaffirmed that the question of which state’s statute of limitations should be applied is a substantive, not a procedural, question. The issue arose in one of the many Zometa cases pending in Middlesex County.  In this particular case, the plaintiff, a resident of Virginia, received Zometa in 2002, was diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw in December 2003, and filed suit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the manufacturer of Zometa, in…

Continue Reading....

Second Time’s the Charm for Centralization of NJ Mirena Lawsuits

In a notice published yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed its prior refusal to centralize New Jersey state court lawsuits involving Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals’ Mirena contraceptive device, and has decided to centralize all such pending suits before Judge Brian Martinotti in Bergen County. As we noted previously, Bayer submitted an application last year seeking centralization of its Mirena litigation in Middlesex County, but its request was denied several months ago.  In March, Bayer resubmitted its application, and comments supporting the application were…

Continue Reading....

Tylenol Subject of Latest New Jersey Centralized Management Request

Suits alleging liver damage from acetaminophen are the latest subject of a request for centralized management in New Jersey.  Late last month, McNeil-PPC and Johnson & Johnson submitted an application seeking centralized management of all pending New Jersey lawsuits involving alleged liver damage from Tylenol products. The application, which comes on the heels of the establishment of a federal Multi-District Litigation for similar suits pending in the federal courts, seeks centralization of all New Jersey Tylenol cases in Middlesex County before Judge Mayer, rather than…

Continue Reading....

Reconsideration Sought for Multi-County Litigation Denial

Previously, we noted that the New Jersey Supreme Court denied an application by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for centralized management of all New Jersey claims involving the Mirena contraceptive device.  Currently, there is an application for reconsideration pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court, again seeking designation of this growing litigation as a Multi-County Litigation.  However, while both Bayer and plaintiffs have sought reconsideration — and thus appear to agree that centralization is appropriate — the sides may differ on where they want that…

Continue Reading....

Recusal Fight in Accutane Litigation Heading to Appellate Court?

As we have discussed previously, defendants Hoffman-La Roche Inc. and Roche Laboratories Inc. recently filed a motion to recuse Judge Higbee from further handling of the centralized Accutane litigation pending before her.  Last month, Judge Higbee denied that motion.  Yesterday, as reported in Law360 (registration required), the defendants filed an application for leave to appeal Judge Higbee’s decision to the New Jersey Appellate Division, asserting that, among other things, Judge Higbee’s opinion denying their motion is further evidence of an appearance of, if not actual,…

Continue Reading....

Punitives Verdict in Pelvic Mesh Trial

Earlier this week, we noted that the first pelvic mesh trial in New Jersey against Johnson & Johnson resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict.  Yesterday, the same jury rendered a punitive damages award against J&J.  Not surprisingly, this result has drawn immediate attention from both legal and general commentators and news outlets (e.g., Law360 (registration required), New Jersey Law Journal (registration required), Bloomberg,  Given the number of other similar claims pending against J&J in New Jersey and elsewhere, it is likely that this case will…

Continue Reading....

Verdict for Plaintiff in First New Jersey Pelvic Mesh Trial

Yesterday, a jury in Atlantic City, New Jersey returned a verdict against Johnson & Johnson in the first vaginal mesh case to proceed to trial from among the roughly 1,800 vaginal mesh cases that have been centralized before the Hon. Carol E. Higbee of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  The plaintiff, Linda Gross of South Dakota, alleged that the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh product that was implanted in her was defective, and that the company had also failed to adequately warn of the dangers…

Continue Reading....

Judge Higbee Denies Motion to Recuse

In December, we noted that defendants in the Accutane litigation pending in Atlantic County, New Jersey had filed a motion seeking to recuse Judge Carol Higbee, to whom virtually all the Accutane cases in New Jersey have been assigned since 2005.  In their application, the defendants — Hoffman-La Roche Inc. and Roche Laboratories Inc. — detailed examples of what they believed were indicative of both actual and apparent bias on the part of Judge Higbee against the defendants and in favor of the plaintiffs.  Oral…

Continue Reading....

Stryker Hip Stem Claims Latest Multicounty Litigation in New Jersey

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted an application to centralize all New Jersey state court claims involving Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stems and ABG II Modular Hip Stems before the Hon. Brian Martinotti in Bergen County. Unlike the recent applications for centralizations of claims involving the Mirena contraceptive device and certain NexGen knee implant products — which were both denied (as we previously noted here and here) — the application for centralization of the Stryker Hip Stems claims was submitted by plaintiffs’…

Continue Reading....