Volkswagen to Pay $14.7 Billion to Settle Charges over Cheating Emissions Tests

vw diesel fraudIn two related settlements German automaker Volkswagen AG and related entities have agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers.

Volkswagen will offer consumers a buyback and lease termination for nearly 500,000 Volkswagen TDI diesel models of Jettas, Passats, Golfs and Beetles as well as the TDI Audi A3 for model years 2009 through 2015. VW will spend up to $10.03 billion to compensate consumers under the program. In addition, the companies will spend $4.7 billion to mitigate the pollution from these cars and invest in green vehicle technology.

  • The settlements partially resolve allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the Clean Air Act, California Health and Safety Code, and California’s Unfair Competition Laws, relating to the vehicles’ use of “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.
  • The settlements also resolve claims by the FTC that Volkswagen violated the FTC Act through the deceptive and unfair advertising and sale of its “clean diesel” vehicles. The settlements do not resolve pending claims for civil penalties or any claims concerning 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. Nor do they address any potential criminal liability.

Separately, VW is facing 1,332 mass tort lawsuits in MDL  2672, supervised by Sr. US District Judge Charles R. Breyer in the Northern District of California. The docket is In re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel,” Product Liability Litigation, Case No. 15-MD-2672-CRB. In a proposed settlement, Volkswagen has agreed to create a single funding pool of a maximum of $10 billion from which Class Members will be compensated under the Class Settlement Program.

Illegal “defeat” software

“Today’s announcement shows the high cost of violating our consumer protection and environmental laws,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “Just as importantly, consumers who were cheated by Volkswagen’s deceptive advertising campaign will be able to get full and fair compensation, not only for the lost or diminished value of their car but also for the other harms that VW caused them.”

According to the Justice Department’s civil complaint against Volkswagen filed on behalf of EPA on January 4, 2016, Volkswagen allegedly equipped its 2.0 liter diesel vehicles with illegal software that detects when the car is being tested for compliance with EPA or California emissions standards and turns on full emissions controls only during that testing process. During normal driving conditions, the software renders certain emission control systems inoperative, greatly increasing emissions.

This is known as a “defeat device.” Use of the defeat device results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory, but emit harmful NOx at levels up to 40 times EPA-compliant levels during normal on-road driving conditions. The Clean Air Act requires manufacturers to certify to EPA that vehicles will meet federal emission standards. Vehicles with defeat devices cannot be certified.

The FTC sued Volkswagen in March, charging that the company deceived consumers with the advertising campaign it used to promote its supposedly “clean diesel” VWs and Audis, which falsely claimed that the cars were low-emission, environmentally friendly, met emissions standards and would maintain a high resale value.

The settlements use the authorities of both the EPA and the FTC as part of a coordinated plan that gets the high-polluting VW diesels off the road, makes the environment whole, and compensates consumers.

The settlements require Volkswagen to offer owners of any affected vehicle the option to have the company buy back the car and to offer lessees a lease cancellation at no cost. Volkswagen may also propose an emissions modification plan to EPA and CARB, and if approved, may also offer owners and lessees the option of having their vehicles modified to substantially reduce emissions in lieu of a buyback. Under the U.S./California settlement, Volkswagen must achieve an overall recall rate of at least 85% of affected 2.0 liter vehicles under these programs or pay additional sums into the mitigation trust fund. The FTC order requires Volkswagen to compensate consumers who elect either of these options.

Volkswagen must set aside and could spend up to $10.03 billion to pay consumers in connection with the buy back, lease termination, and emissions modification compensation program. The program has different potential options and provisions for affected Volkswagen diesel owners depending on their circumstances:

Buyback option: Volkswagen must offer to buy back any affected 2.0 liter vehicle at their retail value as of September 2015 — just prior to the public disclosure of the emissions issue. Consumers who choose the buyback option will receive between $12,500 and $44,000, depending on their car’s model, year, mileage, and trim of the car, as well as the region of the country where it was purchased. In addition, because a straight buyback will not fully compensate consumers who owe more than their car is worth due to rapid depreciation, the FTC order provides these consumers with an option to have their loans forgiven by Volkswagen. Consumers who have third party loans have the option of having Volkswagen pay off those loans, up to 130 percent of the amount a consumer would be entitled to under the buyback (e.g., if the consumer is entitled to a $20,000 buyback, VW would pay off his/her loans up to a cap of $26,000).

EPA-approved modification to vehicle emissions system: The settlements also allow Volkswagen to apply to EPA and CARB for approval of an emissions modification on the affected vehicles, and, if approved, to offer consumers the option of keeping their cars and having them modified to comply with emissions standards. Under this option in accordance with the FTC order, consumers would also receive money from Volkswagen to redress the harm caused by VW’s deceptive advertising.

Consumers who leased the affected cars will have the option of terminating their leases (with no termination fee) or having their vehicles modified if a modification becomes available. In either case, under the FTC order, these consumers also will receive additional compensation from Volkswagen for the harm caused by VW’s deceptive advertising. Consumers who sold their TDI vehicles after the VW defeat device issue became public may be eligible for partial compensation, which will be split between them and the consumers who purchased the cars from them as set forth in the FTC order.

Eligible consumers will receive notice from VW after the orders are entered by the court this fall. Consumers will be able to see if they are eligible for compensation and if so, what options are available to them, at VWCourtSettlement.com(link is external) andAudiCourtSettlement.com(link is external). They will also be able to use these websites to make claims, sign up for appointments at their local Volkswagen or Audi dealers and receive updates. Consumer payments will not be available until the settlements take effect if and when approved by the court, which may be as early as October 2016.

Emissions Reduction Program: The settlement of the company’s Clean Air Act violations also requires Volkswagen to pay $2.7 billion to fund projects across the country that will reduce emissions of NOx where the 2.0 liter vehicles were, are or will be operated. Volkswagen will place the funds into a mitigation trust over three years, which will be administered by an independent trustee. Beneficiaries, which may include states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Indian tribes, may obtain funds for designated NOx reduction projects upon application to the Trustee. Funding for the designated projects is expected to fully mitigate the NOx these 2.0 liter vehicles have and will emit in excess of EPA and California standards.

The emissions reduction program will help reduce NOx pollution that contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot, exposure to which is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. NO2 formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children.

Zero Emissions Technology Investments: The Clean Air Act settlement also requires VW to invest $2 billion toward improving infrastructure, access and education to support and advance zero emission vehicles. The investments will be made over 10 years, with $1.2 billion directed toward a national EPA-approved investment plan and $800 million directed toward a California-specific investment plan that will be approved by CARB. As part of developing the national plan, Volkswagen will solicit and consider input from interested states, cities, Indian tribes and federal agencies. This investment is intended to address the adverse environmental impacts from consumers’ purchases of the 2.0 liter vehicles, which the governments contend were purchased under the mistaken belief that they were lower emitting vehicles.

FTC’s Injunctive Relief: The FTC settlement includes injunctive provisions to protect consumers from deceptive claims in the future. These provisions prohibit Volkswagen from making any misrepresentations that would deceive consumers about the environmental benefits or value of its vehicles or services, and the order specifically bans VW from employing any device that could be used to cheat on emissions tests.

The provisions of the U.S./California settlement are contained in a proposed consent decree filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, as part of the ongoing multi-district litigation, and will be subject to public comment period of 30 days, which will be announced in the Federal Register in the coming days. The provisions of the FTC settlement are contained in a proposed Stipulated Final Federal Court Order filed today in the same court.

To view the consent decree, visit: www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

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93 Cases Settled in Biomet M2a Mangum Hip Implant Litigation

Biomet_Hip_Implant_FailuresUS District Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. issued an order disclosing the settlement of 93 cases in Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant products liability litigation. There are more than 500 cases remaining in In Re Biomet M2a Mangum Hip Implant Products Liability, Cause No. 3:12-md-2391.

“Given the parties’ report that Biomet has deposited into escrow settlement funds to fully resolve these cases, or has directly paid the plaintiff specified, the Court affords the plaintiffs listed on Exhibit A 30 days from the date of this order to show cause why their individual case should not be dismissed with prejudice,” the judge’s Oct. 18 order states.

Metal on metal design

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated the cases into MDL 2391 on 10/2/2012 when there were only 65 cases.

The litigation primarily involves alleged defects in Biomet’s M2a Magnum system of hip implant products. Plaintiffs’ claims focus upon the metal-on-metal design of the M2a Magnum 2 system and the alleged propensity of the M2a Magnum devices to generate high levels of metal ions, cause metallosis in the surrounding tissue and/or fail early.

The fact that Biomet’s products have been on the market longer than other hip implant products (and related evidence of the revision rate for the M2a Magnum system) may be probative to the ultimate question of defectiveness. On the other hand, Biomet has cited statistics and studies of the reliability of the M2a Magnum system.

The lawsuits share factual questions about design, manufacture, marketing and performance of Biomet’sM2a Magnum system.

Other defective hip litigation includes:

  • MDL 2441, in RE: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation — 1,772 cases
  • MDL 2158, IN RE: Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Products Liability Litigation — 462 cases
  • MDL 2197, IN RE: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation — 1,467 cases
  • MDL 2244, IN RE: De Puy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation — 8,616 cases
  • MDL 2329, IN RE: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Lia
    bility Litigation — 566 cases.

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Verdict No. 3: Jury Awards $70M Against Johnson & Johnson in Cancer Link to Talcum Powder

Jim Onder is the senior member and founder of the law firm of Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC, in St. Louis.
Jim Onder is the senior member and founder of the law firm of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson, LLC, in St. Louis.

For the third time this year, a jury in St. Louis has awarded an 8-figure verdict against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn the public about the dangers that its talcum powder products can lead to ovarian cancer.

  • On October 27 the third jury awarded more than $70 million in damages to Deborah Giannecchini, 62, of Modesto, CA, on her claim that her use of baby powder and other Johnson & Johnson talc products over 40 years caused her ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2012 and talc was found in her ovaries.
  • In February, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died last year.
  • In May another jury in the same courthouse awarded $55 million to Gloria Ristesund of Sioux Falls, SD. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after using J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years.

Long-known cancer risk

Plaintiff attorney Jim Onder of St. Louis, MO, represented all three women. He argued that studies have shown for 30 years that there is a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, but that J&J conspired to hide the truth.

Also read:

Behind the $55 Million Talc Verdict: J&J Knew About Cancer Risks Since the 1970s

Internal J&J memos showed the company was aware of studies linking talc powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer for decades, according to Onder.

The Oct. 27 verdict also held Imerys Talc liable. Imerys supplied talc to J&J and placed health warnings on the material safety data sheets for the talc. J&J, however, has never put a health warning on its Baby Powder or Shower to Shower products.

J&J is facing nearly 2,000 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey, charging it with failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks:

The New Jersey dismissal makes the Giannecchini trial that much more significant, because it would likely make Missouri the preferred forum for newly filed talc cases.

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Judge Seeks Lead Counsel in Roundup Products Liability Litigation

roundup-cancerUS District Judge Vince Chhabria requested attorneys who wish to be lead counsel in In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC, to submit applications by October 20, when the first pretrial conference will be held in San Francisco.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL in the Northern District of California. There are currently 21 actions pending in 14 districts. Including the potential tag-along actions, there are now 37 actions pending in 21 districts. More than 10 different law firms represent plaintiffs in these actions, which were spread across the country.

In the Oct. 6 order, Judge Chhabria stated that the parties will discuss:

  • The appointment of liaison and lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
  • The possibility of bifurcating proceedings to address general causation before any plaintiff-specific questions.
  • The schedule for discovery.
  • The merits of appointing an independent expert at the parties’ shared expense.

Causes cancer

The MDL Court noted that in the two actions previously pending in the Northern District of California, it had granted Monsanto’s request to bifurcate the proceedings. “However, because not all parties to the MDL have had an opportunity to be heard on this issue, the Court will consider additional arguments regarding bifurcation at the case management conference,” the judge wrote.

Three attorneys have submitted applications to be lead counsel including Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, Hunter Lundy of Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South LLP, and Aimee H. Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff.

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.

For more information read New Illinois Lawsuit Charges Monsanto’s Roundup Causes Cancer

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Two Reasons That More Attorneys File Xarelto Claims in Philadelphia Court

Pa Court of Common Pleas Xarelto Litigation
Court of Common Pleas Xarelto Litigation

Approximately 1,100 claims have been docketed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Xarelto Consolidated Litigation to date, and the number of claims before Judge Arnold New is increasing. We believe the increase Xarelto being filed  can be attributed to two primary factors.

  1. Judge Arnold New in PTO 10 ordered that the Master Complaint in the Xarelto Pa. Court Consolidation be amended to allow for Ischemic Stroke claims in addition to bleeding related claims. Judge Eldon Fallon, overseeing the Xarelto Federal MDL 2592  is not considering allowing Ischemic Stroke claims to be brought in Xarelto MDL 2592 . Our impression from reading a status conference transcript from Judge Fallon’s court is that he does not think it is necessary to change the allowed claims in the Xarelto MDL he presides over because these claims can be filed in Judge News court.
  2. An issue arose over whether “total lack of diversity” existed during the Bellwether Selection process in Xarelto MDL  2592 where the defendants attempted to eliminate claims filed in certain states from the Bellwether Pool. Although the defendants’ efforts failed, the issue may be brought up again in individual cases. Some attorneys are filing cases from states in which a total lack of diversity issue exists in the Philadelphia Consolidation in an effort to eliminate the potential issue.  The States in question are: California, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Because many firms that are not members of the Pennsylvania bar may need to file Xarelto Claims in the Philadelphia Court Consolidation, we have compiled a list of firms that are in a position to act as local counsel or co-counsel for filing in the Xarelto Pa. Consolidation. Our criteria for compiling this list was :

  1. The attorney must be a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
  2. The attorney or firm must have filed a significant number of cases in the Pa. Xarelto Consolidation.

Potential Local Counsel and Co-Counsel Firms For Pa. Court Xarelto Litigation 

WILLIAM H BARFIELD 
POTTS LAW FIRM 
100 WAUGH
SUITE 350
HOUSTON TX 77007
(832)532-8554
(713)583-5388 – FAX
wbarfield@potts-law.com
 

 

JAMES DOUGLAS BARGER
NEIL OVERHOLTZ
AYLSTOCK WITKIN KREIS OVERHOLTZ
17 EAST MAIN STREET
SUITE 200
PENSACOLA FL 32502
(850)202-1010
(850)916-7449 – FAX
JBarger@awkolaw.com
NOverholtz@awkolaw.com
PBarr@awkolaw.com

MAXWELL S KENNERLY, 
KENNERLY LOUTEY LLC
PO BOX 30049
ELKINS PARK PA 19027
(215)948-2718
(215)689-4315 – FAX
msk@thlawyer.com
DANIEL N GALLUCCI
NASTLAW LLC
1101 MARKET STREET
SUITE 2801
PHILADELPHIA PA 19107
(215)923-9300
(215)923-9302 – FAX
dgallucci@nastlaw.com
MICHAEL M WEINKOWITZ 
LEVIN FISHBEIN SEDRAN & BERMAN
510 WALNUT ST STE 500
PHILADELPHIA PA 19106
(215)592-1500
(215)592-4663 – FAX
mweinkowitz@lfsblaw.com
STEVEN W BERMAN
Napoli Shkolnik  PLLC
ONE GREENTREE CENTER
10,000 LINCOLN DR. E.
SUITE 201
MARLTON NJ 08053
(856)988-5574
(856)985-7408 – FAX
RAYMOND J PEPPELMAN JR.
223 N. PROVIDENCE ROAD
MEDIA PA 19063
(610)566-7777
(610)565-9531 – FAX
rpeppelman@mbmlawoffice.com
 

LOUIS D’ONOFRIO
Heather  D’ONOFRIO 
THE D’ONOFRIO FIRM, LLC
303 CHESTNUT STREET
2ND FLR.
PHILADELPHIA PA 19106
(215)923-1056
(215)923-1057 – FAX

http://donofriofirm.com/

ROSEMARY PINTO
LAURA A FELDMAN
FELDMAN & PINTO PC
6706 SPRINGBANK STREET
PHILADELPHIA PA 19119
(215)546-2604
(267)335-2245 – FAXhttp://feldmanpinto.com/
GEORGE G TANKARD III
400 EAST PRATT STREET
SUITE 849
BALTIMORE MD 21202
(443)274-5733
ELLEN RELKIN
WEITZ & LUXENBERG PC 
700 BROADWAY
NEW YORK NY 10003
(212)558-5715
(212)344-5461 – FAXhttp://www.weitzlux.com/
 

 

JOHN T KIRTLEY III
Ferrer, Poirot, Wansbrough
2603 OAK LAWN AVENUE
SUITE 300
DALLAS TX 75219
(214)521-4412
(214)526-6026 – FAX
jkirtley@lawyerworks.com

SINDHU S DANIEL
BARON & BUDD, P. C.
3102 OAK LAWN AVENUE, #1100
DALLAS TX 75219
(214)521-3605
(214)520-1181 – FAXhttps://baronandbudd.com
 

GREGORY S SPIZER
ANAPOL WEISS
ONE LOGAN SQUARE
130 N 18TH ST., STE 1600
PHILADELPHIA PA 19103
(215)790-4578
(215)875-7722 – FAX
gspizer@anapolweiss.com

THOMAS V AYALA
GRANT & EISENHOFER
123 JUSTISON ST
WILMINGTON DE 19801
(302)622-7000
(302)622-7100 – FAX
tayala@gelaw.com

 

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Closing Arguments Set for Thursday in St. Louis Talc Litigation

talc johnson & johnsonClosing arguments in the third trial in St. Louis over the cancer risks of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based personal hygiene products are scheduled for Thursday in Missouri state court and will be webcast live by Courtroom View Network.

J&J is facing 1,200 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey, charging it with failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks. Earlier this year juries in state court in St. Louis awarded 8-figure verdicts in trials charging that the company knew that its talc-based products cause ovarian cancer, and failed to warn women who used it.

In addition, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL 2738, In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, supervised by US District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey. There 47 cases pending so far.

Also read: Behind the $55 Million Talc Verdict: J&J Knew About Cancer Risks Since the 1970s

The St. Louis trial began on October 4, and is the third talc powder case to go before a jury in Missouri. The outcome will shape the terms of a potential large-scale settlement.

J&J has argued that ovarian cancer has no single known cause, and that both the FDA and CDC reviewed the potential cancer risks of talc-containing hygiene products and deemed them safe.

The company successfully won dismissal of two cases in New Jersey when Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson dismissed them in September after excluding two leading scientists from testifying as expert witnesses.

The New Jersey dismissal makes the Giannecchini trial that much more significant, because it would likely make Missouri the preferred forum for newly filed talc cases. After jurors sided with plaintiffs in a second case talc in May, Beasley Allen claimed in media reports to be swamped with nearly 5000 similar claims.

Missouri’s standards for admitting expert testimony are less stringent than New Jersey’s, with much greater deference given to the jury, according to Courtroom Connect. Judge Johnson’s dismissal of the New Jersey case was based on excluding testimony from two of the plaintiffs key experts who previously testified in St. Louis.

The case is Tiffany Hogans, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, The case number in the U.S District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri is 16-cv-01470. The Missouri state court case number is 1422-CC09012-01.

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Artificial Intelligence Predicted Case Outcomes With 79% Accuracy

Nikolaos Aletras
Dr. Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.

The judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have been predicted to 79% accuracy using an artificial intelligence (AI) method developed by researchers at UCL, the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania.

The method is the first to predict the outcomes of a major international court by automatically analyzing case text using a machine learning algorithm. The study behind it was published today in PeerJ Computer Science.

“We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes. It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights,” explained Dr. Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.

In developing the method, the team found that judgments by the ECtHR are highly correlated to non-legal facts rather than directly legal arguments, suggesting that judges of the Court are, in the jargon of legal theory, ‘realists’ rather than ‘formalists.’ This supports findings from earlier studies of the decision-making processes of other high-level courts, including the US Supreme Court.

“The study, which is the first of its kind, corroborates the findings of other empirical work on the determinants of reasoning performed by high-level courts. It should be further pursued and refined, through the systematic examination of more data,” explained co-author Dr Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Sheffield.

The team of computer and legal scientists from the UK, alongside Dr Daniel Preoţiuc-Pietro from the University of Pennsylvania, extracted case information published by the ECtHR in their publically accessible database.

“Ideally, we’d test and refine our algorithm using the applications made to the court rather than the published judgements, but without access to that data we rely on the court-published summaries of these submissions,” explained co-author, Dr Vasileios Lampos, UCL Computer Science.

Examining 584 cases

They identified English language data sets for 584 cases relating to Articles 3, 6 and 8* of the Convention and applied an AI algorithm to find patterns in the text. To prevent bias and mislearning, they selected an equal number of violation and non-violation cases.

The most reliable factors for predicting the court’s decision were found to be the language used as well as the topics and circumstances mentioned in the case text. The ‘circumstances’ section of the text includes information about the factual background to the case. By combining the information extracted from the abstract ‘topics’ that the cases cover and ‘circumstances’ across data for all three articles, an accuracy of 79% was achieved.

“Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgments have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court. We expect this sort of tool would improve efficiencies of high level, in demand courts, but to become a reality, we need to test it against more articles and the case data submitted to the court,” added Dr Lampos.

*Article 3 prohibits torture and inhuman and degrading treatment (250 cases); Article 6 protects the right to a fair trial (80 cases) and Article 8 provides a right to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” (254 cases).

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Caseload Growing in Philadelphia Against Rex and Argon in IVC Filter Litigation

Option Elite IVC Filter Litigation Rex Medical L.P., the designer of the Option and Option Elite IVC Filters as well as the distributor of these products, Argon Medical, face a growing number of lawsuits related to injuries that plaintiffs’ complaints allege were caused by these devices. (See a detailed list of complaints and attorneys below.)

We believe the majority, if not all, claims against Rex and Argon have been filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiffs claim that jurisdiction is proper in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas under Pennsylvania Law partially due to the Pennsylvania citizenship of Rex Medical.

Although attorneys practicing in the IVC Filter litigation are well aware of the Bard  IVC Filter Litigation and Cook IVC Filter Federal Multidistrict Litigation, far less has been published about the Rex and Argon Medical IVC Filter Litigation underway in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania allows for consolidation of common claims brought by plaintiffs against the same defendant. Although these consolidations are not Federal MDLs, they function much in the same manner.

Claims may be brought by plaintiffs against defendants in these consolidated litigations without regard to the plaintiff’s citizenship, so long as the plaintiff’s citizenship is within the United States.

Numerous medical device and pharmaceutical consolidated litigations have been heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas including the Risperdal Product Liability Litigation as well as a consolidated Xarelto Product Liability Litigation which is currently on going, while a Federal MDL also exists related to the same basic issues.

Currently, Judge Arnold New has designated the cases against Rex/Argon to the “Complex Litigation” track. Although the cases have yet to be consolidated for adjudication in the MDL-like process, we expect this to occur as more cases are filed in the Pa. Court of Common Pleas.

Judge New oversees all consolidated litigation in the Court of Common Pleas.

 

Plaintiffs Cases Filed Against Rex Medical and Argon Medical

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Click on the Case Description to Access all documents including complaints for individual plaintiff cases:

Case Description

Date Filed

Case ID

Plaintiff Residence

Filter

Injury

DURBIN VS REX MEDICAL  17-Oct-16 161002290 California Option Efficacy

Injury

STOKAN VS REX MEDICAL  10-Oct-16 161001150 Arizona Option

Elite

Occlusion

Penetration

DUGAS VS REX MEDICAL 9-Sep-16 160900897 Texas Option Fracture

Migration

HARRIS VS REX MEDICAL 14-Jun-16 160601343 Georgia Option Injury

Other

MILLER VS REX MEDICAL 14-Jun-16 160601344 Louisiana Option Injury

Other

CASEMAN VS REX MEDICAL 7-Mar-16 160300207 Ohio Option Irretrievable

Injury

MONPLAISIR VS REX MEDICAL  3-Oct-16 161000070 Florida Option Injury

Death

AMOUR-WEST VS REX MEDICAL 13-Oct-16 161001566 Tennessee Option Injury

Other

STRODE VS REX MEDICAL  6-Sep-16 160900127 Tennesse Option Injury

Death

TURNER VS REX MEDICAL 5-Aug-16 160800773 Mississippi Option Fracture

Migration

THOMAS VS REX MEDICAL 8-Apr-16 160400816 Colorado Option

Elite

Irretrievable

Embedded

 Attorneys Filing Cases Against Rex Medical and Argon Medical

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

 

EISENBERG, ROTHWEILER, WINKLER, EISENBERG & JECK, P.C.

 

Stewart J. Eisenberg
Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
stewart@erlegal.com
215.546.6636

Villari Brandes & Giannone P.C.
Peter M Villari
Nicole T. Matteo
8 Tower Bridge
Suite 400
161 Washington Street
Conshohocken, PA 19428
(610) 832-8050
SEEGER WEISS LLP

Terri Anne Benedetto
1515 MARKET STREET, SUITE 1380
PHILADELPHIA PA 19102
tbenedetto@seegerweiss.com
(215)564-2300

NASTLAW LLC
1101 MARKET STREET
SUITE 2801
PHILADELPHIA PA 19107
(215)923-9300
 CURTIS LAW GROUP
William B. Curtis
12225 Greenville Ave
Suite 750 Dallas, TX 75243
bcurtis@curtis-lawgroup.com
214.890.1000
LAW OFFICES OF BEN C. MARTIN  
Ben C. Martin
3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1230
Dallas, Texas 75219
bmartin@bencmartin.com
214.761.6614
FREESE AND GOSS, PLLC

 

Tim K. Goss
2905 Sackett St.
Houston, Texas 77098
tim@freeseandgoss.com
713.522.5250

MATTHEWS & ASSOCIATES
David P. Matthews
Lizy Santiago
3031 Allen Street, Suite 200
dmatthews@thematthewslawfirm.com
lsantiago@thematthewslawfirm.com
214.761.6610
Lopez McHugh, LLP

 

James J. McHugh, Jr
Carrie R. Capouellez
214 Flynn Avenue Moorestown
NJ 08057
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Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP

 

Thomas P. Cartmell
David C. DeGreeff
4740 Grand Ave.
Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64112
(816) 701-1100

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Initial Conference Set for Taxotere Hair Loss Litigation

taxotere2Federal multi-district litigation is about to get underway in the US District Court in New Orleans for recently consolidated product liability lawsuits alleging that Taxotere caused permanent hair loss.

US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in the Eastern District of Louisiana issued Pretrial Order 1 on October 13, 2016, announcing that he will convene the Initial Case Management Conference on November 10. About 90 cases are pending in In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2740.

The order directs that the parties submit proposed discovery plans under Rule 26(f) that contain expert discovery deadlines, and a suggested schedule under Rule 16(b) for joinder of parties, amendment of pleadings, and consideration of class action allegations by November 2nd.

Applications and nominations for appointment to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee must be filed electronically in the master docket by October 24.

Also read: Crusading Judge Takes Over Taxotere Products Liability Litigation

Initially approved to treat breast cancer, Taxotere (docetaxel) has since been cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Though Taxotere has been on the market for two decades, it was only in

Disfiguring hair loss

Though Taxotere has been on the market for two decades, it was only in December 2015 that the U.S. label was updated to note that chemotherapy patients who had treated with the medication reported suffering permanent alopecia.

Product liability actions are proliferating in federal courts across the country, charging that the Taxotere breast cancer drug causes unexpected, permanent and disfiguring hair loss in women. Although hair loss is a common temporary side effect of chemotherapy drugs, permanent alopecia is not.

The plaintiffs charge that defendants Sanofi S.A., Aventis Pharma S.A., and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. failed to update the warnings for Taxotere, failed to show the results of additional studies despite learning the facts about the risks of Taxotere, fraudulently concealed the fact that Taxotere caused permanent alopecia unlike other taxanes used for the treatment of breast cancer, and engaged in a fraudulent marketing scheme, which involved paying kickbacks and providing other unlawful incentives to entice physicians to use Taxotere,” the motion says.

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Philadelphia Court Sets 10 Xarelto Cases for Bellwether Trials

xarelto internal-bleedingPennsylvania Judge Arnold L. New set 10 cases for bellwether trials next year and outlined discovery deadlines for In Re: Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, where hundreds of plaintiffs charge that the blood-thinning drug caused gastrointestinal bleeding, hemorrhagic strokes or death.

In Case Management Order No. 11 issued October 14, Judge New of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas organized 24 of the cases for a Core Discovery Pool into three categories:

  • Plaintiff took Xarelto® in order to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and alleges a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed or death due to a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed and was between the ages of 50 and 90 at the date of the alleged event.
  • Plaintiff took Xarelto to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), to treat pulmonary embolism (PE), to reduce the risk of recurrence of DVT or PE, or for the prophylaxis of DVT, which may lead to PE in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery and alleges a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed or death due to a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed and was between the ages of 40 and 80 at the date of the alleged event.
  • Plaintiff took Xarelto® in order to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and alleges a brain bleed/hemorrhagic stroke or death due to a brain bleed/hemorrhagic stroke and was between the ages of 50 and 90 at the date of the alleged event.

Ten cases are set for trial starting September 29, 2017, at two-week intervals as follows:

Trial Date Trial Category Source of Case
September 29, 2017 1 Plaintiff Pick
October 13, 2017 1 Defense Pick
October 27, 2017 2 Plaintiff Pick
November 10, 2017 2 Defense Pick
November 27, 2017 3 Plaintiff Pick
December 11, 2017 3 Defense Pick
After the first six cases, the remaining four will be selected randomly.  Dismissal  of a  trial set case shall not impact the remaining trial dates and cases set for those dates.

Separately, defendants in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) before US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, In RE: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation, include Bayer Healthcare, the designer and manufacturer of Xarelto. Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Division of Johnson & Johnson) sells Xarelto in the United States under a licensing agreement with Bayer.

Nearly 11,000 cases have been filed in the federal MDL, and bellwether trials have been set between March 13 and May 30 in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans.

Discovery schedule

In the Philadelphia cases, the parties will confer whether cases should be added or subtracted from the list. If a case is dismissed, the party that selected the original case for inclusion in the Core-Discovery Pool will offer a replacement.

Discovery in the selected cases will begin immediately and must be completed by April 3, 2017. Core-discovery will consistof only the following depositions:

  1. Plaintiff and spouse or significant other;
  2. The health care provider(s) who prescribed Xarelto to the Plaintiff;
  3. One physician who provided care related to Plaintiff’s alleged physical injuries; and
  4. One detail representative who detailed Plaintiffs prescriber before the prescription(s) at issue.
  5. Plaintiffs will identify the one detail representative per case whose custodial file and deposition they want in connection with the Core-Discovery Pool cases by November 14, 2016.

Defendants may take up to 10 additional fact witness depositions, including both medical and non-medical witnesses in the Trial-Pool Cases. Defendants may seek additional depositions by leave of Court for good cause shown.

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