Confident prescribing physicians and implanting surgeons are the best “learned” intermediaries.  They’re experienced at what they do and aren’t intimidated by plaintiffs’ counsel and their threats of malpractice claims if they don’t testify the way plaintiffs want them to.  Confident learned intermediaries stand by their medical decisions.  Thus a confident learned intermediary’s testimony will defeat causation as a matter of law by stating that, notwithstanding a poor result, the treatment provided was standard of care, and even in hindsight they would not do anything different.  Because we encountered many stand up learned intermediary surgeons in the Bone Screw litigation, several of the relatively early decisions from the 1999-2001 timeframe are Bone Screw cases.

Continue Reading Confident Learned Intermediaries Defeat Warning Causation

Under Fed. R. Evid. 9(b), “[i]n alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake.”  In our sphere, federal courts are quite variable in how they apply this standard when deciding 12(b)(6) motions.  In particular, MDLs seem to have an unfortunate habit of allowing general allegations to support

The Ninth Circuit has certified a question to the California Supreme Court on the learned intermediary doctrine that immediately caught our attention:  In a failure-to-warn claim against a prescription medical product manufacturer, is the plaintiff required to show that a stronger warning would have altered the physician’s decision to prescribe the product?  Or can the

Multidistrict litigations are big piles of wrong. Wrong incentives invite the wrong cases, the wrong rulings, and the wrong results. Plaintiff lawyers park weak cases in MDLs, counting on ultimately collecting money for cases into which they invested virtually no work. Courts encourage that dysfunctional conduct by doing everything possible to force settlements, even if

A recent order in the Xarelto MDL caught our attention because it is an example of something we see more and more:  A plaintiff in multidistrict litigation who neither accepts a settlement program worked out in the MDL nor is prepared to proceed with his or her claims once the chance to settle has passed. 

After eschewing our blogging duties during a very long trial—followed by short deliberations and a verdict for the good guys—we are back at it.  Normally, a significant criterion in how we select a case for a post is the length of the decision—the shorter, the better for our normally busy work lives.  After trial, there