Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MDLs in 2006

We thought it would be interesting to collect in one place the hot, new drug and device product liability litigation. These are the seven drug or device proceedings coordinated by the MDL Panel to date in 2006:

In re Celexa and Lexapro Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1736

Ø Filed 11/9/2005 and ordered to be transferred on 2/16/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: Rodney W. Sippel, Eastern District of Missouri
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 11 pending actions against Forest Laboratories and Forest Pharmaceuticals arising from ingestion of Celexa and Lexapro, two drugs used to treat depression. Plaintiffs challenge the safety of Celexa and Lexapro and Forest’s warnings concerning possible side effects, including the alleged risk of suicide.

In re Ortho Evra Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1742

Ø Filed 11/28/2005 and ordered to be transferred on 3/1/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: David A. Katz, Northern District of Ohio
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 13 pending actions against Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical for alleged personal injuries and economic damages of users of Ortho Evra, a contraceptive patch. Plaintiffs allege that Ortho Evra was defectively designed and that defendants misrepresented and failed to warn them of the drug’s harmful side effects, including the risk of blood clots and strokes.

In re Aredia and Zometa Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1760

Ø Filed 1/27/2006 and ordered to be transferred on 4/18/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: Todd J. Campbell, Middle District of Tennessee
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 27 pending actions against Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, and Aventis arising out of plaintiffs’ ingestion of Aredia and Zometa, prescription medications manufactured by Novartis and used to treat cancer and osteoporosis. Plaintiffs allege that Novartis failed to test and failed to warn users of the drugs’ alleged adverse side effects including, in particular, the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw—jaw bone loss.

In re Human Tissue Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1763

Ø Filed 2/7/2006 and ordered to be transferred on 6/21/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: William J. Martini, District of New Jersey
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 7 pending actions against BioMedical Tissue Services, et al., alleging a scheme by BioMedical Tissue Services to harvest tissue from human corpses without proper consent and to sell the tissue to other defendants, which are tissue processing companies. Plaintiffs allege that the tissue processing companies failed to follow procedures to determine the origin, nature, or suitability of the tissue for human transplantation, and failed to screen the tissue for disease.

In re Seroquel Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1769

Ø Filed 2/22/2006 and ordered to be transferred on 7/6/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: Anne C. Conway, Middle District of Florida
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 59 pending actions against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Plaintiffs allege that AstraZeneca failed to test and to warn users of the drug’s alleged harmful side effects, including the risk of diabetes and related medical complications.

In re Bausch & Lomb Inc. Contact Lens Solution Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1785

Ø Filed 5/4/2006 and ordered to be transferred on 8/14/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: David C. Norton, District of South Carolina
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 10 pending actions against Bausch & Lomb regarding B&L’s contact lens solution “ReNu” with “MoistureLoc,” which B&L withdrew from the market after its use was reported to be associated with fungal keratitis—a type of eye infection. Plaintiffs allege that B&L knew but failed to warn users about ReNu with MoistureLoc’s alleged adverse effects, including the risk of fungal keratitis.

In re Fosamax and Actonel Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1789

Ø Filed 5/24/2006 and ordered to be transferred on 8/16/2006
Ø Transferee Judge and Court: John F. Keenan, Southern District of New York
Ø Nature of Suits: Consists of 19 pending actions against Merck, Procter & Gamble, and Aventis arising out of users’ ingestion of Merck’s drug, Fosamax, a prescription medication used to treat osteoporosis. Plaintiffs allege that defendants knew about but failed to warn users of the drug’s alleged dangerous side effects, including the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw—jaw bone loss.

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