Author Archives: Lisa M. Robinson

Will the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Actions in New York Be Extended?

For decades, section 214-a of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules set forth the statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions. Under current law, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice action expires two and half years after the date of the alleged malpractice. New York is one of only a handful of states without a date of discovery law regarding medical malpractice actions. A date of discovery law tolls the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim until the injury…

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Texas Court Holds that Compounding Pharmacies are Subject to Requirements of the Texas Medical Liability Act

On April 24, 2015, in a significant win for pharmacies in the State of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court dismissed a plaintiff’s product liability action that alleged that the lipoic acid treatment she received caused her to go blind. The court held that the defendant compounding pharmacy that provided the supplement was entitled to protection under the Texas Medical Liability Act (TMLA) and dismissed the case. The decision is available here. In 2011, Ms. Miller was undergoing weekly injections of lipoic acid with her…

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Judge Precludes Plaintiffs’ Experts that “Cherry Picked” Evidence

A recent win for the defense in New Jersey highlights how challenging an expert’s use of unreliable data and methods can be an effective way to prevail. The carefully drafted February 20, 2015 opinion by Judge Nelson Johnson of the Superior Court of New Jersey was a major win for the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Accutane, an acne medication, which the plaintiffs’ said caused them to develop Crohn’s disease. The decision is available here through Law360. Judge Johnson issued his decision after a hearing that…

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Judicial Call for More Guidance on Punitive Damages Awards

Earlier this year, in a bellwether trial in the Actos multidistrict litigation, a Louisiana federal court jury awarded $9 billion  in punitive damages to plaintiffs who claimed that the use of the diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer. Not surprisingly, post-trial challenges followed. In particular, while the defendants did not challenge the amount of compensatory damages ($1,475,000), they argued that the award of punitive damages had to be reduced in order to comply with previous United States Supreme Court rulings that established limits on punitive…

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Defendants in Mass Tort Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits May Now Succeed With Removal to Federal Court – Non-Diverse Defendant Wins Dismissal

In a significant win for Secant Medical LLC, (Secant), Judge Arnold L. New of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County granted its motion to dismiss mass tort pelvic mesh personal injury claims in a decision dated August 22, 2014.  The court held that under the Biomedical Access Assurance Act (BAAA), Secant is not a manufacturer or seller of the pelvic mesh. Secant, a Pennsylvania company, was undoubtedly named to defeat diversity jurisdiction in an effort by plaintiffs to stay in state court in…

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First Drugs Approved for Combination Treatment of Melanoma by the FDA

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease.  Last week the FDA approved GSK’s Mekinist (trametinib) in combination with Tafinlar (dabrafenib) to treat patients with advanced melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or that is metastatic. The drugs were approved under the agency’s accelerated approval program.  More information is available click here. Previously both drugs were approved by the FDA as single agents to treat late-stage or unresectable melanoma. Both drugs are…

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PA Court Vacates $28 Million Verdict in Knee Replacement Case

A Pennsylvania Superior Court recently vacated a $27.6 million jury verdict against medical device manufacturer Zimmer Inc. (Zimmer), and marketing firm Public Communications, Inc. (PCI) in a case that involved Zimmer’s Gender Solutions Knee. The decision, which vacated the verdict on causation grounds, is available here. Zimmer’s Gender Solutions Knee is a knee replacement device specifically designed and manufactured for women. Zimmer hired PCI to produce a sales video featuring footage of patients who had received the Gender Solutions Knee. The plaintiff Margo Polett…

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New Liver Disease Medical Device May Help Cut Number of Transplants

Royal Free Hospital in London is conducting a trial of a new medical device to treat liver disease on a group of patients with severe alcohol-related liver failure.  Results have already shown that that patients’ liver damage can be reversed, which can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life.  The new device, called an alfapump, is manufactured by the Swiss medical device company Sequana Medical and may radically change the treatment options for patients with severe liver disease in the future. Liver disease impacts the…

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Johnson & Johnson Settles Hip Implant Case Two Weeks Before Trial

Last week, Johnson and Johnson settled a bellweather case that was scheduled to commence on October 15, 2013 in California.  Plaintiff in that action claimed that his injuries were allegedly caused by the company’s ASR metal-on-metal hip implants.  The case is Ottman v. Johnson & Johnson, No. CGC-12-517391, in California Superior Court. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Another bellweather trial involving the company’s hip implants is scheduled to take place in early 2014 in Los Angeles. Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy…

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Philips joins Allies in Effort to Test “Focused Ultrasound”

Philips and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation have collaborated with The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to create a focal point for ultrasound therapy research at the ICR and The Royal Marsden in London.  The new initiative will be a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists in oncology working with high intensity focused ultrasound therapy.  Its goal is to develop clinical evidence and establish best practices, standards and procedures and train those who will deliver that care. Focused…

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