Week Ahead in Health: Aug. 16, 2021 – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the health community. All times are local.

Wednesday, Aug. 18

8:30 a.m. – A discovery hearing is scheduled before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco in multidistrict litigation in which plaintiffs are seeking to hold e-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc and its largest shareholder tobacco giant Altria Group, along with their executives and directors, liable for fueling an addiction epidemic. More than 2,000 cases have been consolidated in the litigation, and several have been chosen for bellwether trials.

The case is In re Juul Labs Inc, Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 19-md-02913.

For plaintiffs: Sarah London of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Dena Sharp of Girard Sharp, Dean Kawamoto of Keller Rohrback and Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg.

For Juul: Renee Smith of Kirkland & Ellis.

Thursday, Aug. 19

1 p.m. – A final pretrial conference is scheduled via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco in a class action lawsuit accusing Sutter Health, one of California’s largest hospital chains, of trying to monopolize the market for medical services. The lawsuit, which has been pending since 2012, accuses Sutter of trying to strong-arm health insurance companies into including all Sutter hospitals in their networks and requiring them to steer their members away from lower-cost hospital options.

The case is Sidibe v. Sutter Health, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 12-4854.

For plaintiffs: Matthew Cantor of Constantine Cannon.

For Sutter: Jeffrey LeVee of Jones Day.

Friday, Aug. 20

10 a.m. – A case management conference is scheduled before U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida in multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective 3M Co earplugs formerly used by the U.S. Army. Plaintiffs in the MDL, the largest in U.S. history, allege that they suffered hearing loss or damage as a result of losing the plugs. Three bellwether trials have been held, with two plaintiffs’ verdicts and one win for 3M.

The case is In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, No. 19-md-2885.

For the plaintiffs: Bryan Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, Shelley Hutson of Clark, Love & Hutson and Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss.

For 3M: Mike Brock of Kirkland & Ellis.

10 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California will hold a hearing on Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ motions to exclude evidence, including news reports and testimony from doctors from her upcoming criminal trial. Holmes is accused of defrauding patients and investors by falsely claiming that her company had developed technology that could run a wide array of tests on a single drop of blood.

The case is United States v. Holmes, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-cr-00258.

For the government: Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk.

For Holmes: Lance Wade and Kevin Downey of Williams & Connolly.

Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Health? Contact Brendan Pierson at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com

Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health care law. He can be reached at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com.

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