Final Chapter of HuffPost’s Risperdal Series Examines Verdict in Pledger Case

In the 15th and final chapter of its series on Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal (risperidone), the Huffington Post (10/2) “Highline” recounts how the jury in the Pledger case handed down its verdict Feb. 24, 2015, finding J&J was negligent by failing to provide an adequate warning about the risk of gynecomastia associated with Risperdal. The jury awarded $2.5 million to Austin Pledger. Meanwhile, J&J’s “latest SEC filing says there are 4,200 Risperdal claims on dockets across the country.” All in all, author Stephen Brill argues, the Risperdal scandal raises concerns about regulation of drug manufacturers. Indeed, the company’s misconduct “would have gone unchecked” if not for the work of plaintiffs lawyers who “trudged through millions of documents.” The FDA “didn’t do that work.” Meanwhile, the “recent push from the bench, emanating from the Supreme Court, to expand the First Amendment rights of corporations could upend the core principle that a regulatory agency like the FDA can stop drug companies from spending whatever it takes to put their spin on what their products can be used for.”

TRANSVAGINAL MESH IMPLANTS – An End of Year Update

By Kim Truongle –

AMS – Our firm is part of a multi-firm settlement with AMS.  If you are one of our AMS clients and have not yet been contacted by us, your contact information may be outdated, so please contact us at (800) 269-3050.  Settlement administration is expected to take many months, even into the year 2016 for many claimants, but the process is being moved as quickly as possible.  The best our clients can do to speed up settlement is to keep their contact information updated.  We will reach out to our clients when we have more information on specific settlement offers for each individual.

Ethicon/J&J – Currently, there are no active negotiations with Ethicon.  Instead, we are working to provide more information to Ethicon regarding a specific sampling of cases, presumably so the company can further analyze the nature of the docket.  The federal Ethicon trial slated to begin in the Southern District of West Virginia this month has been postponed to March, 2015.

Boston Scientific – Boston Scientific trials around the country have, so far, gone both ways – for some cases, Boston Scientific was found not liable; for other cases, Boston Scientific has had hefty verdicts handed down against them.  Many of our Boston Scientific cases are currently in negotiations, but no settlement has yet been reached.  Meanwhile, we are preparing a case for trial in the MDL system.

Bard – We are currently preparing a Bard case for trial.  There are no negotiations currently in Bard-only cases.  We are engaged in negotiations regarding other Bard-related claims involving mesh products co-manufactured by Tissue Science Laboratories Limited and Sofradim Production SAS, but no agreement to settle has yet been reached.

Other Manufacturers – We are also working on mesh cases manufactured by Coloplast and Cook, and these make up a much smaller percentage of our docket.  If you have a Coloplast or Cook case with us, please feel free to phone our office for an update on your specific case.

Case-Specific Updates – Due to the unique nature of these claims, our office usually does not proactively contact you unless a major development has occurred in your case.  Otherwise, our time would be spent just updating clients, instead of working on the case itself.  Not hearing from us does not mean that your case is idle, nor does it mean that you are not represented.  Instead, we have an “open door” policy that anytime you would like an update, simply phone us at (800) 269-3050 to speak to a Case Manager.  If one is unavailable due to the volume of calls, you will receive a callback within 1 business day.  Instead of generic updates done in a mass mailout, we think this method better keeps you updated on YOUR specific case, and it also works better to fit into your busy schedule.

We are pushing forward on our TVM cases and are honored to represent thousands of women who have been harmed by their mesh device.

Happy Holidays to you and yours as we look forward to 2015!

ASR Trial Verdict: What Does it Mean for Your ASR Hip Case?

Posted by Kim Truongle

March 9, 2013 – As reported in this blog yesterday, a jury in California returned a verdict for the Plaintiff for nearly $8.34 million.  $8 million of that figure was awarded for non-economic damages, including physical pain and emotional suffering and distress.  The jury agreed the ASR hip was defectively designed and the warnings regarding the risks of the implant were inadequate.  The verdict was awarded after successful arguments by the Plaintiff’s attorneys to overcome defense attempts at blaming the method of implantation and the Plaintiff’s other health conditions.  This is a large victory for the California Plaintiff, as well as for all other Plaintiffs who have an ASR case pending against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson.

What does this first trial verdict in an ASR case mean for your hip case?

Does this mean my case will gross millions of dollars? 

No.  The amount of this verdict has NO immediate bearing on the value of individual cases.  It is important to remember that trials involve very specific facts; some of them may be applicable to you, and some may not.  Additionally, case expenses are usually borne by the client, meaning that the costs of bringing this Plaintiff’s case to trial will most likely come out of the funds he ultimately receives – trying a case against DePuy, Johnson & Johnson, or any pharmaceutical company is not cheap.

The real impact this verdict has on the individual cases is that it is a weight that can push the Defendants to come to the negotiating table.  This does not mean they will settle the cases immediately, but it is a force that may push them towards negotiations sooner than later.

When will my ASR hip trial occur? 

The likelihood of your individual ASR hip case going to trial is low.  There are many cases ahead of you in the court system, and the Judges overseeing the state and federal consolidations selected trials from the earliest cases in their courts, long before we came to know of you.  However, this does not necessarily mean you will have to wait longer than most others for resolution of your claim.  For cases like these with many claimants around the country, our experience is that if we reach a settlement, the defendants will likely negotiate a settlement of all our firm’s cases at once.  This does not mean everyone we represent, nor everyone around the country, will necessarily gross the same amount.  This is not a class action.  We will post more information explaining the possible settlement process when the time for negotiations nears and is more appropriate.  We are not at that stage of these cases yet.

With yesterday’s verdict in California, the Plaintiffs are on the right track in this litigation.  For additional questions on your ASR hip case, please call us at (800) 269-3050.

TVM Jury Verdict: What Does It Mean?

Posted by Kim Truongle

February 27, 2013 – Yesterday, a jury in New Jersey found in favor of a mesh implant Plaintiff, awarding her a $3.35 million verdict. What does this mean for your mesh implant case?

This does NOT mean that all mesh cases will gross millions, nor that they will resolve for anywhere near that much. It is important to remember that trials involve specific facts; some of them may be applicable to you, and some may not. Also keep in mind that despite this verdict, the odds of this Plaintiff receiving her funds any time soon are quite low. The likelihood that this case will be appealed by the Defendants to therefore keep the case tangled in further litigation is high. Furthermore, case expenses are usually borne by the client, meaning that the costs of bringing this Plaintiff’s case to trial will most likely come out of the funds she ultimately receives – trying a case against Johnson & Johnson or any pharmaceutical company is not cheap.

The jury in the New Jersey case unanimously found that there was no design defect and instead put the blame on the Defendants for other failures. Defective design is one key cause of action in these cases, so this shows that juries may not always side with the Plaintiffs regarding every issue alleged. In other words, despite some seemingly large dollar verdicts, in no way are mesh cases “slam dunk cases”.

This does NOT mean the cases are close to resolution or settlement. There is still more work to do before we can sit across the table from Defendants and negotiate a settlement that is fair. Valuation of a case involves both personal and legal facts, as we take into account what each client has and will go through, as well as the facts that help shape the legal framework. The latter may involve things like additional development of the science, finding out more about what the companies did or should have done, etc.

We are optimistic about the verdict out of New Jersey, but there is still a road ahead. Sometimes, that road will run smoothly, but there may also be a few bumps we will have to navigate around as we move ahead. As a national pharmaceutical litigation firm, we use our experience to stay the course towards a resolution that is fair for our clients. If you have any questions, please phone our office at (800) 269-3050.

Another Recall by DePuy

By Cindy Nations

February 22, 2013 – A Class I recall has been issued by DePuy Orthopaedics.  This time the product involved is a device used in conjunction with the LPS System, an end-stage revision knee product.  Reportedly, the defectively-designed device can malfunction, which may lead to possible loss of function, loss of limb, soft tissue damage, infection, or even death.  This is not the first time DePuy has been in hot water. The Johnson & Johnson-owned company is defending lawsuits around the country for their defective hip implants, the ASR and PINNACLE models.  For more information about these and other defective drugs and devices, contact The Nations Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

Johnson & Johnson Victory Upheld

Posted by Buck Daniel

August 7, 2012 – Federal judges in Mississippi have upheld a decision that grants victory to Johnson & Johnson in a case where the company’s transvaginal mesh product caused severe injuries. In this decision the court ruled that the plaintiff’s doctor would have still implanted the defective device even had he known of the dangers associated with the Johnson & Johnson product. The ruling was based upon the “learned intermediary doctrine,” which prevents a plaintiff from recovering  for an injury if a physician knew about a product’s risks but used it anyway. The court further ruled that two of the plaintiff’s medical experts did not qualify to be heard because their opinions related directly to the injuries of the plaintiff and did not speak to the warning, or more accurately the lack of warning, that Johnson & Johnson issued.