Week Ahead in Products Liability: July 26, 2021 – Reuters

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

Tuesday, July 27

9:30 a.m. – Closing arguments are scheduled in the trial of a lawsuit by Huntington, West Virginia and Cabell County accusing leading drug wholesalers AmerisourceBergen Corp, McKesson Corp and Cardinal Health Inc of ignoring red flags that opioid drugs they sold were being diverted into illegal channels. The case was chosen as an early bellwether out of thousands of opioid lawsuits around the country, and the plaintiffs are currently not taking part in a recently announced $21 billion nationwide settlement with the distributors.

The case is City of Huntington, West Virginia et al v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, No. 3:17-cv-01362.

For Cabell County: Paul Farrell of Farrell Law.

For Huntington: Anne Kearse of Motley Rice.

For AmerisourceBergen: Robert Nicholas of Reed Smith.

For Cardinal: Enu Mainigi of Williams & Connolly.

For McKesson: Paul Schmidt of Covington & Burling.

Wednesday, July 28

10:30 a.m. – A pretrial conference is scheduled before U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan in the criminal case accusing former Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc Chief Executive Laurence Doud of illegally distributing opioid drugs. Prosecutors said that despite the company’s obligations to not ship drugs to pharmacies it knew were dispensing the drugs unlawfully, Doud agreed to ship opioids to pharmacies even when “red flags” existed demonstrating they were diverting them. Doud, who led Rochester from 1991 to 2017, has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

The case is U.S. v. Doud, No. 19-cr-00285.

For the United States: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexandra Rothman, Louis Pellegrino, Nicolas Roos and Stephanie Lake.

For Doud: Derrelle Janey of Gottlieb & Janey.

Thursday, July 29

9:30 a.m. – The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Boston will hear remote arguments on whether to consolidate new MDLs over claims that Eisai Inc’s weightloss drug Belviq caused cancer; claims that Novartis AG’s leukemia drug Tasigna caused heart disease and other conditions; and claims that Bayer AG’s Seresto flea and tick collars are linked to pet deaths.

The case are In re: Belviq (Lorcaserin HCL) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 3005; In re: Tasigna (Nilotinib) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 3006; and In re: Seresto Flea and Tick Collar Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 3009.

For Belviq plaintiffs: Michael London of Douglas & London.

For Eisai: Heidi Levine of Sidley Austin.

For Tasigna plaintiffs: Richard Elias of Elias LLC.

For Novartis: Joe Hollingsworth of Hollingsworth LLP.

For Seresto plaintiffs: Bruce Nagel of Nagel Rice.

For Bayer: Tarek Ismail of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum.

Thursday, July 29

10 a.m. – A status conference is scheduled via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco in the multidistrict litigation consolidating local governments’ claims that consulting firm McKinsey & Co Inc of fueling the opioid epidemic through its work advising drug manufacturers.

The case is In re: McKinsey & Co., Inc. National Prescription Opiate Consultant Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 21-md-02996.

For McKinsey: James Bernard of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

For plaintiffs: Louis Bograd of Motley Rice and others.

Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Products Liability? 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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