By Brittany Mierzwa – On Monday January 18th, U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers of the Northern District of Florida announced the selection of a bellwether case in the Deepwater Horizon BELO litigation. Christopher F. Causey’s case was selected to go to trial as a test of more than 500 similar lawsuits related to the 2010 disaster on file in the Florida court. The Judge is handling cases filed by plaintiffs who were diagnosed with medical problems after the cut-off date set in a settlement agreement in the main multidistrict litigation based in Louisiana federal court.
‘Causey’s case was selected at random from a list of 10 individual suits raising claims over eye-related injuries – five submitted by the plaintiffs and five submitted by BP – according to the order.’
The 2010 Disaster, known as BP Deepwater Horizon, killed 11 people and caused 4 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. Clean-up workers like Mr. Causey worked extensive hours digging and picking up tar balls along the shore. Workers were exposed to oil and chemicals without proper protection as they cleaned the coast. Judge Rodgers set an August 23rd start date for a two-week trial.
URL (subscription): https://www.law360.com/trials/articles/1346163/bellwether-trial-set-for-fla-deepwater-horizon-cases
Deep Water Horizon Litigation .PDF document
By Buck Daniel
April 30, 2014 – Since our last update, there has been a great deal of activity in the Actos litigation. As of the end of March 2014, there were over 5,000 Actos cases filed in the MDL and Illinois State Court and another 1,000 still expected in the months ahead. That aside, I am happy to report that on April 7, 2014, a jury in Louisiana returned a big Plaintiff’s verdict against the named defendants to punish their wrongful conduct and actions. Although the Court will lower the punitive damage award to a much smaller number and the defendants will appeal the case, this is a terrific result and outcome. Hopefully, it will put the defendants on notice of what Actos has done to thousands of families like yours and steer them in the direction of accepting responsibility for the actions.
More on the trial: Following 34 days of trial, a Louisiana jury ordered Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. to pay compensatory and punitive damages after finding the companies’ diabetes drug Actos caused Terrance Allen to develop bladder cancer. Mr. Allen used Actos for over 5 years prior to his development of bladder cancer and was a non-smoker his entire life. The punitive damage award likely stems from evidence that Takeda lost or destroyed critical documents from as many as 46 employees and sales representatives. The missing files belonged to high-ranking Takeda employees who were heavily involved in the development, sales, marketing, and promotion of Actos. Other missing files belonged to rank-and-file sales representatives whose day-to-day work involved marketing and distributing Actos.
There is another Actos trial going on right now in Nevada involving two women, Ms. Bertha Triana, 80, and Ms. Delores Cipriano, 81, who claim Actos caused them to develop bladder cancer as well. Additionally, other Actos trials are being scheduled through the remainder of 2014 and 2015. As these trials unfold, we will keep you posted on the results.
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.
Posted by Buck Daniel
November 7, 2012 – A scheduling order issued by Judge Rebecca Doherty has set the first Actos lawsuit trial to begin on November 3, 2014 with a second trial scheduled for July 8, 2015. The judge also stated in the scheduling order that the attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants must select these potential trial cases by June 3, 2013 so that a definitive order and roster of parties can be finalized. The parties will have until September 30, 2013 to complete core discovery in these cases.
Judge Doherty stated in the scheduling order that even though these court cases are more than two years from now, the large scope of the litigation, the number of plaintiffs who have already filed Actos bladder cancer claims and the number of additional plaintiffs who could join the litigation that these deadlines need to be met in order for the case to avoid potentially long delays.
Posted by Buck Daniel
November 7, 2012 – A consolidated complaint was filed by 12 plaintiffs, who claim to have been diagnosed with bladder cancer as a result of using Actos, on August 14, 2012. Specifically, the court documents allege that the defendants, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, should have known about the risks of developing bladder cancer after using Actos. The filing further alleges that the defendants were specifically aware of these dangers prior to seeking approval to market Actos from the FDA in 1999. Finally, the court documents allege that Takeda continued to conceal this knowledge and willfully put the lives of the plaintiffs, as well as the general population, at risk by way of warnings on the product that were vague and inadequate.