Tolling Agreements Cause Coverage Concern

An insurance coverage dispute has arisen in connection with litigation involving a robotic surgery medical device maker. A declaratory judgment action seeking rescission of product liability insurance policies issued to the manufacturer was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. If successful, the insurer may avoid obligations under its primary and excess insurance policies providing $15 million per occurrence and $50 million aggregate. The declaratory judgment action stems from allegations that the manufacturer entered into tolling agreements with several potential…
Continue reading...

Laser Therapy Lawsuits Increase

A recent study published in the medical journal, JAMA Dermatology, brings to light a growing number of lawsuits related to cosmetic laser surgery complications. A recurring theme in those lawsuits is that the procedure was performed by a non-physician. The study from researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) used an online national database of public legal documents to determine those that involved laser surgery and non-doctors. They found 175 claims filed between 1999 and 2012. In 43 percent, the error…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

House Republicans Question Supplement Companies about Ingredient Declared Illegal and Potentially Unsafe by FDA

Three members of the House of Representatives recently questioned multiple supplement companies about the continued sale of products containing DMAA (dimethylamylamine), a synthetic drug linked to several deaths. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously urged consumers to avoid products containing DMAA.  DMAA is an ingredient in some weight loss or muscle development supplements.  It is alleged that the drug could trigger heart problems.  The FDA has reportedly received over 80 reports linking supplements containing DMAA to injury, illness and death.  However,…
Continue reading...

Natural Product Claims Lead to Liability

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of plaintiff, Michael Goldenberg, and other similarly situated consumers, against Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. (“J&J”), alleging the consumer manufacturer mislead consumers about the nature of the ingredients in its personal care products sold under the Aveeno brand name (see, Goldenberg v. Johnson & Johnson, 7:13-cv-03073).  According to the Complaint, these products were marketed with…
Continue reading...

Nutritional Supplement Health Claims and False Advertising Liability

In 2009, consumers David Johns and Marc Bordman filed a class action suit against Bayer Corporation and Bayer Healthcare in the Southern District Court of California for allegedly making false and deceptive claims about the nutritional supplement “One A Day Men’s.”  According to the Complaint, Bayer marketed the supplement, and its key ingredient selenium, as supporting prostate health, despite mounting scientific evidence that the supplement does not reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.  The plaintiffs claimed these statements constituted deceptive advertising in violation…
Continue reading...

Football and Prescription Drugs – A Dangerous Combination

A former college football player for the University of Southern California, named Armond Armstead, has filed suit against the university founded upon allegations it improperly supplied players with painkillers to enable them to play in games.  Armstead, who played football for USC from 2008 to 2010, claims team doctors provided him with painkillers intended to be used for short-term treatment of post-operative pain in hospitals.  The use of these painkillers, according to Armstead, enabled him to play in games but also caused him to…
Continue reading...

A Horse of a Different Color… Is Usually a Very Different Horse: Conflict-of-Law Issue Determinative of Product Liability Litigation Outcome

On October 1, 2012, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, affirmed its prior decision to dismiss product liability claims against Sanofi-Aventis US, LLC. arising from the use of a generic version of its popular drug, Ambien. Madden v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al. In so affirming, the Court found Washington State law was rightfully applied and the case was properly dismissed against the defendant as, pursuant to the Washington Products Liability Act, “Sanofi was not the manufacturer…
Continue reading...