Update on Recent Decisions from New Jersey’s Pelvic Mesh and Ovarian Cancer/Talc Litigation

We wanted to update our readers on two decisions from the New Jersey Appellate Division that were the subject of recent posts. In March, we reported on an opinion from the Appellate Division that came out of the centralized pelvic mesh litigation pending in Bergen County, New Jersey reversing the verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in two cases because the trial courts had precluded the defendants from introducing key evidence relating to FDA clearance of the products at issue under Section 510(k). Following the issuance…
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New Florida Law Affords Very Broad Civil COVID-19 Immunity

The state of Florida enacted broad COVID-19 civil immunity protections in a bill signed by the Governor on March 29, 2021. The immunities provided appear to be among the broadest in the country to date. They come at a time that some states are considering repealing already enacted immunity statutes. And, at a time when New York just repealed its immunity statute as to the nursing home industry. An extensive “WHEREAS” preamble reviews the history and severity of the COVOD-19 crisis. It also cites to…
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New York State Legislature Passes Treatment Protection Act Repealing Immunity to Nursing Homes and Hospitals Against COVID Malpractice Lawsuits

On Wednesday March 24, 2021, the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation that repeals protections for nursing homes and hospitals against liability for COVID malpractice lawsuits. The bill had previously passed the New York State Assembly.  The NY Senate press release is available here. As discussed in previous posts, New York’s “Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act” went into effect with the New York State budget in April 2020. In August 2020, we reported that legislation had been passed that rolled back legal…
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Animal Testing Bans and Product Liability Lawsuits

On March 16, 2021, Virginia became the fourth state—following California, Nevada, and Illinois—to enact legislation banning the testing of cosmetics on animals and the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. Similar legislation may follow in other states, and Representative Don Beyer of Virginia has indicated he intends to reintroduce federal legislation to establish this ban nationwide. From a defense perspective, whenever a cosmetic product company is sued in a product liability lawsuit, it is helpful to have a strong record of safety…
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Two New Jersey Pelvic Mesh Verdicts Overturned

While Covid-19 continues to be a dominant national topic, including with the recent approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there are other developments of note for the life sciences industry. One of those came on March 2, 2021, when the New Jersey Appellate Division—New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court—I issued a lengthy opinion reversing two multi-million dollar verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in pelvic mesh product liability cases. (Actually, the court issued two lengthy opinions, a long published opinion and an even longer unpublished opinion
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Possible Federal Investigation of New York Governor over Misreporting of Nursing-Home Deaths

Earlier this month, we wrote about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s defense against claims of a cover-up regarding COVID deaths at nursing homes, following the New York Attorney General’s January 28, 2021 report. Since then, the criticism of Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes during the pandemic has only increased. New York Assemblyman Ron Kim has alleged that Gov. Cuomo called him at home and threatened to “destroy” his political career unless he helped mitigate the damage from the scandal. Assemblyman Kim has since…
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Do Plaintiffs’ Counsel Perceive New Jersey MCL Judge Harz as a More Favorable Jurist?

Earlier this month, we wrote about some changes to New Jersey’s MultiCounty Litigation Program–specifically the retirement of Middlesex County MCL Judge James Hyland and the appointment of Judge Bruce Kaplan to succeed him. As we noted, Judge Kaplan has now taken over management of those MCL litigations that have been assigned to Middlesex County (with the exception of the asbestos litigation assigned to Judge Viscomi). After we wrote about those changes, the New Jersey Supreme Court has posted the most recent application submitted for designation…
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Hotel Business on the Risk of Toxic Exposures for Hospitality: Q&A with Sean T. Stadelman

“In the hospitality industry, many cleaning products that are used contain potentially toxic substances that pose both acute and long-term risks to employees and/or customers,” Goldberg Segalla’s Sean T. Stadelman said in an interview with Hotel Business. “With the increased use of sanitizing products due to the pandemic, the potential for toxic exposure has increased and thus it is important that the hospitality industry be prepared to mitigate those risks.” In the article, Sean, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Toxic Tort group, discusses the…
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New York’s Gov. Cuomo Continues to Defend Claims of Cover-up Regarding COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

On January 28, 2021, New York’s Attorney General Letitia James released a report on her office’s investigation into nursing home responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation found that more nursing home residents died from COVID than the New York State Department of Health (DOH) had made public. It found nursing home deaths from COVID may be undercounted by New York’s DOH by as much as 50 percent and found the DOH misstated in-facility deaths at many nursing homes as well. A complete copy of…
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New Judge for New Jersey’s Multicounty Litigation Program

This week saw a major snowstorm for parts of New Jersey, bringing more than two feet of snow in some areas of the state (including my driveway). This week also saw the assignment of a new judicial face to New Jersey’s Multicounty Litigation cases. Many of you are likely aware of the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, or JPML, which can decide to consolidate and transfer cases pending in the federal district courts for consolidated pre-trial management by a single District Judge. There have…
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