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Merck & Co Accused of Mislabeling Shingles Vaccine

A judge recently ruled that pharmaceutical company Merck & Co must release its email exchanges concerning its shingles vaccine, Zostavax. More than 1,800 lawsuits filed against Merck & Co combined into a multidistrict litigation, and the plaintiffs accuse the company of changing label information on their vaccine. Plaintiffs claim this caused them severe injuries. It has yet to be announced what information plaintiffs believe Merck & Co changed on the label. The judge ruled that nearly all of the documents in question should be released. Source: Reuters

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Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Retina Damaging Drug

Multiple lawsuits are outstanding against Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals after patients taking Elmiron developed permanent retinal injuries. Elmiron, which is used to treat interstitial cystitis,  is also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). Individuals currently taking Elmiron should obtain an eye examination. The pharmaceutical companies have yet to release a statement on the apparent connection between the drug and maculopathy.  Source: The National Law Review

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New Research Points to Relationship Between Elmiron and Vision-Threatening Disease

Nieraj Jain, MD., recently warned opthamologists of the link between a pentosan polysulfate sodium and a vision-threatening maculopathy. The drug, currently sold under the name Elmiron by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, can cause the maculopathy to appear to be age related. Dr. Jain’s research also indicates that the longer the Elmiron is used, the more likely it is to cause a vision-impairing issue. Opthamologists should closely monitor their patients that have been using Elmiron.  Source: Ophthalmology Times

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Zantac Lawsuit Attorneys for Plaintiffs Who Have Taken Ranitidine (Generic Zantac) Use Recent Supreme Court Decision To Support Their Claim

May 5, 2021 — Plaintiffs in the Zantac multidistrict litigation are utilizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Ford Motor Co v. Montana Eighth District. The March 25 decision in the Ford case held that state courts in Montana and Minnesota had jurisdiction over product liability claims against Ford despite the company not directly selling the defective vehicles in the states. Ford argued that in-state residents who were affected by crashes in Montana and Minnesota were not permitted to sue in their own state courts because Ford did not design, manufacture or sell the allegedly defective vehicles there. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Ford’s argument and ruled that, because Ford was very active in selling vehicles in the two states, Montana and Minnesota state courts had jurisdiction to hear the plaintiffs’ cases.  Justice Elena Kagan stated in the court’s majority opinion that plaintiffs only need to show a connection between their lawsuit and the defendant’s actions in their state.  Ford had argued that the plaintiffs needed to show that the defendant’s actions in their state had caused their injuries.  The decision is popular and has already been cited in 31 cases, mainly to clarify the jurisdiction issue. Zantac lawsuit lawyers for plaintiffs, specifically those who took a generic version of Zantac (ranitidine), are also seizing the opportunity to use the recent ruling to their advantage.  The plaintiffs have faced a similar jurisdictional challenge that the Ford plaintiffs battled in the states of California and Massachusetts.  They argued in a brief filed on April 23, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida that the “law has been entirely overruled by Ford,” referring specifically to the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals but-for rule. Both Massachusetts and California have “innovator liability” laws that allow people who have taken generic versions of a drug to claim that the drug’s originators misrepresented risks in the drug’s labels.  The supreme courts of both states allowed claims under the laws which resulted in 2017’s T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp in California and 2018’s Rafferty v. Merck & Co Inc in Massachusetts. Despite those laws seeming to favor the Zantac plaintiffs, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg, the judge over the Zantac MDL, dismissed the plaintiffs’ innovator liability claims in December 2020 on jurisdictional grounds.  Rosenberg cited a 2018 precedent from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Waite v. All Acquisition Corp, stating that personal injury plaintiffs who are asserting specific jurisdiction are required to show that the defendant’s actions within the court’s home state directly led to the alleged injury.  The judge stated that the plaintiffs did not claim a causal link between their claims and the marketing activities in both California and Massachusetts by name-brand Zantac defendants. Judge Rosenberg allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint so that they could claim that the actions taken by the name-brand Zantac defendants in California and Massachusetts caused the plaintiffs to take the generic form of Zantac called ranitidine.  The new complaint explained that the marketing in the two states led to a higher demand for Zantac, and in turn caused higher sales of the generic version. On March 24, one day before the Supreme Court ruled on the Ford case, name-brand defendants Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Sanofi SA, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Patheon NV moved to dismiss the amended claim.  They argued that they did not affect the introduction of ranitidine into the marketplace.  In the defendant’s brief, they said, “In short, while California and Massachusetts may choose to adopt their own novel tort principles governing companies based there, due process forbids them from applying those laws extraterritorially to hold the out-of-state brand-name manufacturers liable for the sales of other companies’ products.”  They continued with, “Plaintiffs’ highly attenuated theory of liability leaves them with no basis for specific jurisdiction.” The plaintiffs argued the opposite.  They claimed that the Ford decision requires plaintiffs to show that a defendant conducted business within the jurisdiction and that the plaintiff’s lawsuit relates to the defendant’s actions within the jurisdiction. The plaintiffs said that there is no doubt that name-brand defendants were involved in marketing in California and Massachusetts.  According to the plaintiffs’ application of the Ford decision, the defendants did not need to directly sell ranitidine in order to relate to the plaintiffs’ claims and hold responsibility for the failure to warn about both Zantac and ranitidine’s carcinogenic risk. Reference:  Frankel, Alison. “Zantac Generics Plaintiffs Hope SCOTUS Ford Decision Rescues Claims against Brand-Name Makers.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 27 Apr. 2021, www.reuters.com/article/us-otc-zantac-idUSKBN2CE2NX.

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Hundred of Cases Pending Against Drug After FDA Removes Box Warning

Although the FDA removed an amputation warning on Invokana’s box in 2020, the drug is still subject to active litigation. Although the amputation risk while taking the diabetes drug is lower than scientists initially thought, Invokana can still pose serious risks of developing Fournier’s Gangrene. Between 2013 and 2019, 21 cases of FG were reported among Invokana users. However, hundreds of Invokana-related lawsuits are pending in courts across the country. Source: Consumer Safety

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Pretrial Orders

March 6, 2021 – There have been many pretrial orders entered over the past few months in the Zantac/Ranitidine Multi-District Litigation (MDL) as referenced below. This list will continue to be amended as new orders are entered. The orders can also be found here:  https://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/zantac. March 2021  March 5:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 61 – Order on Second Round of Motions to Dismiss  February 2021  February 25:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 60 – Generic Manufacturer Defendant Supplemental Discovery Agreement  February 12:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 59 – Ninth Census Implementation Order: Further Timelines for Registry CPF Deficiency Processing and Other Procedures  January 2021  December 2020  December 31:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 58 – Eighth Census Implementation Order: Product Identification Collections for Remaining Filed Plaintiffs and Unfiled Registry Claimants by Retailer and Pharmacy Defendants  December 16:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 57 – Order Regarding Initial Discovery of Distributor Defendants  November 2020  November 23:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 56 – Seventh Census Implementation Order: Deficiency Process for Unfiled Claimants  November 23:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 55 – Sixth Census Implementation Order: Access to Unfiled Claimant Census Plus Forms for Non-Generic Defendants  November 11:  Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 54 – Deposition Protocol for Defendants’ Witnesses and Third Parties  October 2020  Oct. 21: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 53 – Fifth Census Implementation Order: Access to Census Plus Forms and Aggregated Data  Oct. 9: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 52 – Procedures for Dismissal of Defendants from the Master Complaints and the Individual Personal Injury Cases   Oct. 9: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 51 – Fourth Census Implementation Order: Product Identification Collections for Filed Cases by Retailer and Pharmacy Defendants   Oct. 9: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 50 – Third Census Implementation Order: Generic Manufacturer Production of Product Related Information   Oct. 5: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 49 – Order on Class Action Discovery Timelines   Oct. 5: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 48 – Remote Deposition Guidelines   Oct. 3: Zantac Lawsuit Amended MDL Pretrial Order # 47 – Document Discovery Schedule for Brand Manufacturers   September 2020  Sept. 29: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 46 – Order on Production of Defendant Discovery on Other Defendants   Sept. 29: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 45 – Order on Service of Discovery Requests and Responses  Sept. 25: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 44 – Order Authorizing Use of BrownGreer MDL Centrality Platform for Service of Short Form Complaints   Sept. 25: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 43 – Order Setting Forth Service of Process of Short Form Complaints on Generic, Distributor, Repackager, and Retailer Defendants   August 2020  Aug. 29: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 42 – Second Census Implementation Order: Temporary Census Plus Form Extension Due to Vendor Data Issue   Aug. 26: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 41 – Protocol For In Extremis Depositions   Aug. 18: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 40 – Protocol for Modifying Particular Defendants in the Master Complaints   Aug. 18: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 39 – Protocol for Voluntarily Dismissing Short-Form or Individual Long-Form Complaints in Their Entirety, for Dismissing Particular Claims, and/or for Dropping Particular Defendants   Aug. 16: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 38 – First Census Implementation Order  July 2020  July 31: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 37 – Protocol for Common Benefit Work and Expenses   July 30: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 36 – Order on Schedule for Rule 12 Motions to Dismiss   July 27: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 35 – Order Regarding Core Discovery of Retailer Defendants   July 13: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 34 – Order Regarding Initial Discovery of Generic Manufacturers   July 9: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 33 – Order Enumerating Additional Responsibilities of Generic Liaison Counsel   June 2020  June 18: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 32 – Order Concerning the Discovery Process and Dispute Resolution   June 18: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 31 – Procedures for Master Pleadings in Personal Injury Cases   June 18: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 30 – Stipulated Discovery and Case Management Schedule   June 11: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #29 – Protocol for ESI Discovery   June 11: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #28 – Preservation Order   June 3: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #27 – Order Regarding Deadline for Filing of Notice of Appearance   June 1: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #26 – Confidentiality Order   June 1: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #25 – Protocol for Treatment of Privileged and Work Product Materials   May 2020  May 28: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #24 – Order Relating to Initial Status Conference   May 27: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #23 – Order Modifying Census Plus Deadlines   May 22: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #22 – Order Establishing Defense Leadership Structure   May 14: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #21 – Order on Applications for Defense Leadership   May 8: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #20 – Order Appointing Leadership   April 2020  April 28: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #19 – Order Attaching Amended Appendix A    April 15: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order # 18 – Order on Production of Records for Initial Census for Deceased and Incapacitated Claimants   April 10: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #17 – Order Appointing Interim Retailer Liaison Counsel   April 3: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #16 – Order Rescheduling Initial Conference, Establishing April Deliverables Team, and Scheduling Interviews for Leadership Applicants  April 2: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #15 – Order on Procedures for Implementing Census   March 2020  March 20: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #14 – Order Authorizing Continuation of Work by Interim Teams   March 20: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #13 – Stipulated Order Setting Forth Service of Process Procedures on Certain Defendants   March 20: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #12 – Stipulated Order Appointing Special Master   March 20: Zantac Lawsuit MDL Pretrial Order #11 – Stipulated Order...

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Update On Status Of Generic Ranitidine Manufacturers’ and Retail Distributors’ Motion To Dismiss

March 6, 2021 – The Court has still not ruled on the motion to dismiss made by big-name distributors such as Walgreens and Walmart, but we are watching for the ruling and will update when it comes.  Reference: “United States District Court.” 20-MD-2924-Rosenberg – In Re: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation | Southern District of Florida | United States District Court, 5 Mar. 2021, www.flsd.uscourts.gov/zantac.

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Number Of Zantac Cases In MDL As Of 2/17/2021

February 17, 2021 – The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation reported at their panel that there were currently 562 cases pending in the Zantac Lawsuit MDL. Reference: “Zantac Lawsuit: February 2021 Update – Zantac Cancer Claims.” Drug Watch, www.drugwatch.com/zantac/lawsuits/.

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Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a loved one is a difficult thing for anybody. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be even harder. Lives are cut short every day for many reasons, but losing a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions is especially tragic. When such an event happens, the family of the person who died is entitled to compensation. Wrongful death suits occur when someone who has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence files a claim against the individual responsible for the death. In 2019 more than 170,000 people lost their lives in the US from accidents or unintentional injuries. In fact, such accidents are the third leading cause of death in the US. While accidents happen in an almost infinite number of different ways, some wrongful death causes are more common than others. Here are some examples of wrongful death causes. Car Accidents There is no way to ignore the fact that driving a vehicle can be dangerous. While many of us may go years without getting into a car accident, others are not so lucky. Many wrongful death lawsuit cases happen each year after fatal car accidents. Generally, if a driver’s negligent actions cause a death on the road, they are liable for the wrongful death.  The number of car accident fatalities each year may surprise you. More than 38,000 people die in car accidents each year. In 2020, while there was less traffic volume than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of vehicle fatalities rose. Some experts say that the increase in fatalities was due, in part, to increased rates of speeding in the US. If a loved one dies after a car accident that someone else negligently causes, you are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Some of the most common causes of death after car accidents stem from things like: Brain injuries, Neck injuries, and Internal bleeding. The two best things you and your loved ones can do to avoid suffering a fatal injury in a car accident are wearing your seatbelt and avoiding distractions while driving. Defective Products Defective products lead to numerous wrongful death claims each year. Most consumer products producers are responsible for ensuring consumer safety as long as their products are used as intended. Some products are inherently dangerous, but other times, a consumer product can have a fatal defect. For example, a cooking utensil that leaches deadly chemicals into food as it is used as intended can lead to a wrongful death claim against a manufacturer. Similarly, a safety feature in a vehicle that doesn’t work properly, like a seatbelt that comes unbuckled easily in an accident, can easily cause fatal injuries and leave the manufacturer liable for wrongful death claims. Even an inherently dangerous consumer product, such as a gun, comes with an assumption of safety with proper use. A defective part in a gun that causes a chambered round to go off without the user pulling the trigger can easily lead to a wrongful death claim.  When a manufacturer of goods is made aware of a dangerous defect in their product, they are responsible for notifying the public of that defect and recalling any defective products. They are also responsible for replacing those products free of charge. Boeing became responsible for numerous wrongful death claims after a design flaw caused some of their 737 Max commercial aircraft to crash in 2018. Since then, in addition to settling wrongful death claims, Boeing has recalled and replaced all of the affected 737 Max airplanes. If you want to keep track of any consumer product recalls to help ensure your safety, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the best place to do so. The CPSC website contains a database of all consumer product recalls. You can even subscribe to the CPSC to get a newsletter of product recalls relevant to you. Workplace Accidents Unfortunately, many accidents happen in the workplace. While all employers must provide their employees with a safe workspace, some employers fail to do so. Even an employer who takes all necessary precautions can have a fatal accident occur at their workplace. In addition, some jobs and workspaces are more dangerous than others. For example, a construction site will typically be more dangerous than an average office.  While the vast majority of workplace injuries are nonfatal each year, the number of fatal injuries is still significant. Employers in the US reported 2.8 million nonfatal injuries in 2019. During the same period, however, a total of 5,333 workers died due to workplace injuries. If a loved one dies after a workplace accident, you can file a claim through their employer’s workers’ compensation program. Most employers in the US are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a loved one dies due to negligence by someone other than their employer or coworker, or if the employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a wrongful death claim. Medical Malpractice Medical malpractice commonly gives rise to wrongful death claims. Medical malpractice is estimated to take roughly 250,000 lives each year. Generally speaking, medical malpractice occurs when an error in medical treatment leads to injury. If the patient dies due to a medical error, their loved ones are entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice wrongful death claim. To file a successful wrongful death claim based on medical malpractice, one must prove that the death was caused by a medical provider’s mistake that amounts to a violation of the medical standard of care. Pedestrian Accidents Another common source of wrongful death claims is pedestrian accidents. Unlike when a car strikes another vehicle, when a car strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian does not have the protection that a vehicle offers. Thus, a pedestrian receives the full force of impact when a car strikes them. As a result, it is not uncommon for injuries to a pedestrian after being struck by...

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Case Against Belviq to Continue in Louisiana Court

A court in Louisiana granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss two of three product defect claims in a lawsuit. Plaintiffs Stephanie and Robert Fuller accused the defendant, Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of design defects, manufacturing defects, and safety misrepresentations related to its drug Belviq. The weight loss drug is allegedly linked to breast cancer, according to the plaintiffs. The court ruled that the Fullers did not provide sufficient evidence for their manufacturing defect claims, as well as their claims about breach of warranty. The design defect claim is expected to continue to the Eastern District of Louisiana court. Soure: Drug Watch

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