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This post is from the non-Reed Smith, non-Dechert, and non-Holland & Knight side of the blog. 

We have covered the ranitidine litigation before. As we explained in prior posts (including here and here), plaintiffs allege that ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, breaks down into N-Nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”), particularly at higher temperatures.  NDMA is a known carcinogen and a ubiquitous substance present in the environment and in all manner of foods including bacon, beer, and cheese.  Readers will remember that in a sweeping, 341-page opinion, the MDL court cut the head off the federal Zantac litigation by excluding plaintiffs’ experts.  But other parts of the snake keep slithering. Continue Reading Delaware Zantac Court Fails to Keep the Gate

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We observed oral argument the other day before the California Supreme Court in Himes v. Somatics, a case that places California’s learned intermediary doctrine squarely in the spotlight.  A learned intermediary case before the California Supreme Court?  For your ever-vigilant DDL bloggers, that is like Thanksgiving and Christmas wrapped into one! 

Who will be

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Alabama has always had some rather unusual jurisprudence.  In product liability, the Yellowhammer State doesn’t have negligence or strict liability, but rather a hybrid called the Alabama Extended Manufacturers Liability Doctrine (“AEMLD”).  See Casrell v. Altec Industries, Inc., 335 So.2d 128, 132-33 (Ala. 1976).  More recently, the Alabama Supreme Court twice adopted the extreme pro-plaintiff innovator liability theory in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, 2013 WL 135753 (Ala. Jan. 11, 2013), withdrawn and superseded, Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, 159 So.3d 649 (Ala. 2014).  On that occasion, the Alabama legislature overruled the court.  See Ala. C. §6-5-530.  More recently than that, the same court authorized plaintiffs to perjure themselves and claim that they would have ignored their doctors’ recommendations in order to claim causation in learned intermediary cases.  Blackburn v. Shire U.S., Inc., ___ So.3d ___, 2022 WL 4588887, at *11-12 (Ala. Sept. 30, 2022).  Most recently, and most notoriously, the Alabama Supreme Court declared frozen embryos to be people – at least for the purposes of tort law.  LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine, P.C., ___ So.3d ___, 2024 WL 656591, at *4 (Ala. Feb. 16, 2024).  Who knows? By 2030, Alabama might attempt to count blastocysts as “people” for purposes of the census – although not for tort purposes, since the legislature appears to have stepped in again.

We read another bizarre – if not nearly as notorious – Alabama law decision recently.  Ahmed v. Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems, Inc., 2024 WL 693078 (S.D. Ala. Feb. 20, 2024), reconsideration & certification denied, 2024 WL 947447 (S.D. Ala. March 5, 2024).  What’s bizarre about it?  It allowed a plaintiff in a medical device product liability case (hip implant) get to the jury without any medical expert testimony on causation.  Id. at *16 (entitled “Summary Judgment is not Required on All of Plaintiff’s Claims Even Though She Offers No Expert Evidence Regarding Medical Causation”).Continue Reading Another Weird Alabama Decision

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Back in 1997, a Chicago Tribune columnist wrote a hypothetical commencement speech that garnered a lot of attention. Like most commencement speeches, it offered uplifting advice to the bright young minds about to enter the working world. Unlike most, it directed the graduates to wear sunscreen.  That suggestion (often wrongly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut) became

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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

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It has been almost exactly one year since we brought you Part 2 of this Lone Pine story; so, like the court in its most recent decision, we’ll give you a little refresher.  The Zostavax MDL in its fifth year.  Plaintiffs allege that defendants’ anti-shingles vaccine caused them various injuries including shingles, hearing loss, and