Category Archives: Litigation Strategies

Ninth Circuit Outlines for Plaintiff How to Meet the Twombly/Iqbal Standard in a Third Amended Complaint

In this case, the plaintiff, Nicole Weber, appealed the United States District Court for the District of Arizona’s dismissal of her second amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The issue on appeal before the Ninth Circuit panel was whether Weber’s allegations were sufficient to survive a 12(b)(6) motion under the Twombly/Iqbal standard requiring a complaint to set out a plausible claim. Since the Supreme Court’s rulings in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, federal district courts have seen…

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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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Recent Philadelphia Verdict Highlights Need to Combat Punitive Damages

In the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a jury recently awarded the plaintiff $2.3 million in compensatory damages for injuries he alleged arose from his use of a diabetes treatment drug.  The plaintiff claimed that the drug company failed to properly warn that its use was linked to a higher incidence of bladder cancer, a condition he subsequently developed.  In addition to awarding a compensatory sum, the jury awarded $1.3 million in punitive damages, apparently based upon evidence that the company’s pharmaceutical reps were instructed…

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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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New Jersey Appellate Court Takes Bite Out Of Zometa Cases

The drug Zometa, which is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, is used to prevent skeletal fractures in patients with various cancers.  Novartis has been hit with some plaintiff’s verdicts recently where it was alleged that it failed to disclose dead jaw bone risks associated with Zometa.  However, two recent appellate rulings in New Jersey have clarified any ambiguity associated with the application of that state’s statute of limitations for similar cases.  Under New Jersey law, the statute of limitations in product liability actions…

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Warnings That Work: Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Secures Defendant’s Verdict

On Wednesday, May 30, 2011, a Connecticut federal jury held Pfizer not liable for damages resulting from a wrongful death, allegedly stemming from the decedent’s use of the product, Prempro. Prempro was approved by the FDA in 1994 and used to treat symptoms of menopause as well as prevent osteoporosis. In 2002 several studies raised concerns over the use of Prempro which was linked to unusually high instances of breast cancer. In this action, plaintiff alleged that the decedent’s six year use of the drug…

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Complete Warnings Are A Pharmaceutical Necessity

In 2010 the anticoagulant drug Pradaxa, otherwise known as dabigatran etexilate mesylate, was approved by the FDA and introduced to the US market, offering consumers a replacement to existing versions of blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin. Since Pradaxa’s release several dozen consumers from Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Connecticut have filed lawsuits alleging injury from the use of the drug, claiming the manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers of the possibility of the irreversibility of the drugs anticoagulation effects. As of December 2011, the FDA…

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