Order Concerning Filing Fees When Filing Short Form Complaints in Zofran Litigation

zofranUS District Judge F. Dennis Saylor ordered on July 21 that any plaintiff in a pending action who previously filed a complaint and paid the filing fee, and who is adopting a version of the Short Form Complaint, need not pay the filing fee again. The order applies in In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2657 in the District of Massachusetts

The adoption of the Short Form Complaint is, in effect, the filing of an amended complaint, for which no additional fee is required. However, any plaintiff who files a new case directly in this MDL proceeding must pay the required filing fee. In other words, the filing of a new action requires the payment of filing fee, but such a fee need only be paid once.

Federal Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV on July 8, 2016 approved the new Short-Form Complaint and Jury Demand submitted by the parties in Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation.

GSK knew about birth defects

Defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline GSK knew as early as 1992 that Zofran passed through the placenta and into a developing fetus and presented “unreasonable risk of harm” to developing babies.

GSK marketed Zofran “off-label” for treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. The company represented that Zofran was a safe and effective treatment for the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. However, the drug had not been studied for its adverse affects upon pregnant mothers, or the possible teratogenic effects upon their fetuses at any time between 1991 and 2011.

Between April 2009 and December 2013, GSK reported that it made paid doctors and healthcare institutions more than $437.9 million dollars in the United States for speaking fees, consulting fees, research, travel fees and meals.

In 2013, GSK made $12.8 billion in sales in the United States, making it the fifth most lucrative pharmaceutical company doing business in the United States according to IMS Health.

For more, read our article 260 Zofran Cases Filed Against GlaxoSmithKline and Zofran Litigation Update Defendants Summary Judgement Motion Denied

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PA Court Now Allows Ischemic Stroke Claims in Xarelto Litigation

Ischemic strokeIn an important new ruling, Judge Arnold L. New in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas amended the master and short form complaint to allow for Ischemic Stroke Claims to be made in that court.

The court covered several topics when it issued Case Management Order #10 on June 6:

Ischemic Stroke Cases Instituted By The Filing Of Long Form Complaints

  • All Plaintiffs who have previously filed Xarelto cases alleging ischemic stroke using a long form complaint shall file a Second Amended Long Form Complaint in the form within 20 days of this Order.

Expert John Ray, a leading consultant to the Mass Tort industry, explained the significance, saying, “these ischemic stroke cases are related to Xarelto being marketed as a one-time per day drug. All that the drug manufacturers did was double the dose and say you only need to take it once per day. They did this for a marketing advantage.

“The problem is that the patient is over-anticoagulated the first half of the day and under-anticoagulated the remaining time before next dose. This leaves the patient unprotected from what Xarelto is suppose to protect them from for the last half of the dose day and more likely to bleed in the first half of the day.”

The defendants in the state litigation include:

  1. Janssen Research & Development LLC
    2. Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Inc.
    3. Janssen Ortho LLC
    4. Johnson & Johnson.
    5. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. Inc.
    6. Bayer Pharma AG.
    7. Bayer Corporation.
    8. Bayer Healthcare LLC.
    9. Bayer Healthcare AG.
    10. Bayer AG.

Second Amended Master Long Form Complaint

  • The Court Directs that Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Master Long-Form Complaint and Jury Demand to this Order shall be filed on the Master Docket.
  • The Second Amended Master Long-Form Complaint and Jury Demand will substitute for and supersede all Complaints filed in individual Xarelto cases pending in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Defendants (other than those relieved from any answer obligation under CMO-3
    shall have 60 days from the entry of this Order to answer or plead to the Second Amended Master Long-Form Complaint.

Short-Form Complaint–Previously Filed Cases

  • All Short Form Complaints previously filed on or before the date that the Clerk files the Second Amended Master Long-Form Complaint and Jury Demand pursuant to this Order are hereby deemed to incorporate the Second Amended Master Long-Form Complaint and Jury Demand without the need of any plaintiff to take any action to amend their Short Form Complaints that already been filed in this case.

Short-Form Complaint–Newly Filed Cases

  • All Xarelto cases filed after the date of this Order shall be instituted by the filing of a Writ of Summons or a Second Amended Short Form Complaint. If suit is instituted by a Writ of Summons, the Writ of Summons must denote the case to be part of this Mass Tort Program and any named Defendant may file a Rule to File a Complaint, which shall apply to the benefit of all named Defendants.

“This is very important news,” Ray said. “The Ischemic Stroke claims, often referred to as ‘efficacy’ claims, cannot be brought in the Federal multidistrict litigation docket (MDL) because the argument was not made there. Only hemorrhagic  strokes can be brought in the federal MDL.”

US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is overseeing Xarelto Products Liability Litigation MDL 2592 , based in New Orleans, LA. Click to find out more about Xarelto MDL 2592 Important Developments.



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