Earlier this month we featured a guest post on a potentially game-changing forum non conviens decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad, ___ N.E.2d ___, 2012 WL 6725822 (Ill. Dec. 28, 2012). While Fennell was an asbestos case, our reading of the case suggested that it would be equally applicable to out-of-state plaintiffs in drug/device cases – meaning that they would be out of court (at least in Illinois).
Things seems to be playing out that way. In the wake of Fennell, non-Illinois plaintiffs in two pharma-related forum non appeals pending in Illinois’ Fifth Appellate District (which includes Madison/St. Clair) have outright given up and agreed to dismiss their cases – even though they won in St. Clair, and the defendants were the appellants. That’s really rare. Here are copies of the relevant orders (which, of course, are non-precedential because of the plaintiffs’ surrender):
Obviously, pharmaceutical litigation tourists in Illinois see Fennell‘s handwriting on the wall. We should, too.