Photo of Eric Hudson

We like decisions applying Fed. R. Evid. 702 that recognize the recent amendment’s impact on judicial gatekeeping. A status update on post-amendment decisions is here, and there’s a lot to like.  We don’t like post-amendment decisions that barely recognize the amendments to Rule 702 and instead parrot pre-amendment case law. As key proponents of the recent rule amendments continue to emphasize, “Don’t Say Daubert.”  Hunt v. Covidien, 2024 WL 2724144 (D. Mass. May 28, 2024) says a lot about Daubert and pre-amendment case law, but very little about the recent rule amendments. Nonetheless, the decision excludes entirely the opinions of an expert regularly disclosed by plaintiffs on FDA regulatory issues—Dr. Laura Plunkett. Continue Reading Mixed Bag Rule 702 Ruling from D. Mass.

Last year Bexis was lead author on a law review article in the Food and Drug Law Journal titled Federal Preemption and the Post-Dobbs Reproductive Freedom Frontier.  The article expands on themes previously raised in this blog, including here, here and here.  It discusses the application of federal preemption under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to state-law medication abortion restrictions after Dobbs. The article recognized that, following Dobbs, it was inevitable that FDCA preemption would become embroiled in the abortion controversy. That prediction was accurate.  Today’s decision addresses the impact of preemption on a North Carolina law that imposed significant restrictions on an FDA approved medication taken to terminate a pregnancy.Continue Reading North Carolina and Post-Dobbs Regulation of Mifepristone

Released in 1965 by the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” is ranked by Rolling Stone as the “Greatest Motown Song of All Time.” Smokey Robinson’s lead vocals are pure silk, the harmonies ooze soul, and  the guitar licks and strings tie it all together.  The song and the Miracles helped spread Motown around the globe.  Today’s decision about an artificial tears product won’t stack up against Smokey and the Miracles, but it hits a few chords worth sharing.Continue Reading Tracks of My Tears – Narrowing of Economic Loss Class Claims in Kentucky

The Dearinger case in the Western District of Washington provided a lot of defense friendly blog fodder. It made its way to the Washington Supreme Court for a certified question whether Washington would recognize a direct to consumer exception to the learned intermediary rule. The Washington Supreme Court answered that question with a resounding no.  Following that decision, the district court dismissed some of plaintiffs’ claims on an initial motion for summary judgement.  We blogged about that decision here.  The latest decision in Dearinger v. Eli Lilly & Co., 2024 WL 416848 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 5, 2024) serves up some nice defense nuggets applying the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) and refusing to let a sham affidavit create a fact issue.Continue Reading Last Nail in the Coffin for Dearinger

We’ve been posting about decisions from In re Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2775, since 2018.  Its preemption ruling on defendant’s motion to dismiss made the list of ten worst decisions from 2018, and a subsequent preemption decision reflected more MDL madness.   Things improved when the court began addressing causation at summary judgment, and pretty soon cases were falling like dominoes.  Today’s decision from the MDL, Williams v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 2024 WL 99542 (D. Md. Jan. 8, 2024), continues that positive trend.Continue Reading Another Dismissal in the Birmingham Hip MDL

This is my first post as a new member of the Drug & Device Law team.  Like many of you, I’ve been a consistent reader of the blog for years and I rely on it regularly.  I remember talking with Jim Beck and Mark Herrmann many years ago when the blog was just getting started (pretty sure it was 2006).  Now here we are.  I’m a partner with Butler Snow LLP’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare practice, and I’ve focused my practice on mass torts for almost my entire career.  I’m excited about contributing to the blog and welcome any comments. Now on to business. 

MDL discovery is inevitably burdensome on defendants, and the challenges defendants face in attempting to limit the scope of MDL discovery are exponentially more difficult than in single plaintiff cases. Throw a few hundred cases together in an MDL, and courts seem much more willing to view the scope of permissible discovery through a vastly broader lens.  So we read with interest decisions that limit discovery, place some of the burden on the plaintiffs, or—even better—implement cost shifting and require the plaintiffs to pay for some or all of what they seek in discovery.Continue Reading Cost Shifting in the Tasigna MDL