Week Ahead in Products Liability: July 6, 2021 – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the product liability community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, July 7

10 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston is scheduled to resentence Barry Cadden, the former president of compounding pharmacy New England Compounding Center, as well as Glenn Chin, its former supervising pharmacist. The two men were criminally convicted in connection with tainted drugs that sparked a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Stearns’ earlier eight-year sentence, finding he failed to apply certain sentencing enhancements. Prosecutors are now seeking a sentence of more than 17 years.

The case is U.S. v. Cadden et al, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 14-cr-10363. For the United States: Amanda Strachan, Christopher Looney, David Lazarus and Alexandra Amrhein of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. For Cadden: Bruce Singal of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder. For Chin: Stephen Weymouth of Law Office of Stephen J. Weymouth and Robert Sheketoff.

Thursday, July 8

9:30 a.m. – The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear in-person arguments in Philadelphia over whether a district court abused its discretion in denying class certification in litigation against gas hose makers Tru-Flex Metal Hose Corp (now defunct) and Pro-Flex LLC over flexible gas lines allegedly prone to leaks that can cause fires. U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon in the Western District of Pennsylvania found that the proposed class did not meet the ascertainability requirement. Plaintiffs had proposed house-by-house investigation to determine class membership.

The case is Adams Pointe I LP et al v. Tru-Flex Metal Hose Corp et al, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-3528. For plaintiffs: Rebecca Bell-Stanton of Carpenter & Schumacher. For Tru-Flex: Thomas Pie of Marks O’Neill O’Brien Doherty & Kelly. For Pro-Flex: Thomas Gamache of Leahy Eisenber Fraenkel.

12:00 p.m. – New York doctor Gordon Freedman will be sentenced in person by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan after a jury found him guilty of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from now-defunct Insys Therapeutics Inc in exchange for prescribing his patients the company’s Subsys, an addictive fentanyl spray. Freedman is one of a number of doctors around the country who have faced criminal charges over Subsys.

The case is USA v. Freedman, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-cr-00217. For the government: Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Solowiejczyk. For Freedman: Samuel Braverman of Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio.

Friday, July 9

8:30 a.m. – A case management conference is scheduled before U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida in a 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.

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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