If we have said it once, we have said it a hundred times: medical product manufacturers are not insurers of their products. Almost as frequently uttered would be that strict liability is not the same thing as absolute liability. In the show position might be that the temporal relationship between a new medical condition and
Lovely Warnings Causation (and More) Mesh Decision from the Central District of California
We are just back from a lovely long weekend in Mexico. We were delighted to find, on our DVR, a show we’d forgotten we set to record: a special interviewing the cast and director of Love, Actually on the 20th anniversary of that film’s release. This is our all-time favorite holiday film, and pretty close to our favorite film of any genre. We love how it has crept into popular culture (the SNL parody of the flip cards scene, featuring Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton is nothing short of brilliant), and we find the film endlessly charming and restorative, no matter how many times we watch it. Take a look at the special, if you missed it
Speaking of all-time favorites, today’s case deals with warnings causation, our all-time favorite doctrine. (Along with our co-blogger, Mr. McConnell, we just presented a CLE on this topic.) This is the doctrine: to prevail on a failure-to-warn claim in a prescription drug or medical device case, a plaintiff must prove both that the products warnings were inadequate and that the inadequate warning proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Subject to variations of local law, the general rule is that, to prove the warnings causation piece, a plaintiff must adduce evidence that a different or stronger warning would have altered her physician’s decision to prescribe the drug or device.
In Brennan v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., 2022 WL 17219513 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2022), the plaintiff alleged that the warnings provided with her pelvic mesh devices were inadequate. She asserted failure-to-warn claims sounding in negligence and strict liability, and the defendant moved to dismiss both, arguing that the plaintiff could not prove that any inadequacy of the warnings proximately caused her injuries because her prescribing physician had not testified that she would have acted differently in the face of a different warning. …
Continue Reading Lovely Warnings Causation (and More) Mesh Decision from the Central District of California
Mixson Somewhat Mixed, But We’ll Take It
The defendants in Mixson v. C.R. Bard, Inc., ___ F. Supp.3d ___, (N.D. Fla. Sept. 16, 2022) (“Mixson I”), and Mixson v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 2022 WL 7581737 (N.D. Fla. Sept. 23, 2022) (“Mixson II”), by no means won everything, but what they won was more important than what they didn’t, so we’re OK with the results.…
PMA Preemption Holds Up Against California Law in California State Court
California state court is not the place most products liability defendants want to end up. Unfortunately, today’s case had to stay in state court because plaintiff sued the defendant’s device representatives who had direct contact with the plaintiff. The reps, like plaintiff, were California residents and destroyed diversity jurisdiction. The decision, however, in James v.
Nicholson – Not So Harmless
For a decision that affirmed not just a verdict, but an award of punitive damages, against a device manufacturer, Nicholson v. Biomet, Inc., 46 F.4th 757 (8th Cir. 2022), is not as bad as it could have been. That’s because most of the decision was about evidentiary rulings that the court found to be “harmless” error, and one might even have some benefit for our clients in the long run.
Still, Nicholson was pretty darn depressing.…
Summary Judgment for Defendant on Warnings and Punitive Damages Claims in D. Ariz. Artificial Hip Case
FDA Safety Communication Not Enough to Support Punitive Damages Claim in New Jersey
Today’s post is actually about a medical malpractice case. But it involves the interplay between an FDA “Safety Communication” and punitive damages, so we thought it was worth looking at.
In Rivera v. Valley Hospital, Inc., 2022 WL 3650726 (NJ Aug. 25, 2022), plaintiff is the representative of the estate of a woman who…
The Not-So-Thin Line Between Negligence and Punitive Damages
In our experience, plaintiffs in product liability cases always seek punitive damages. Even when their claimed injuries are quite modest or their state does not permit punitive damages, they give it a shot. We have had cases with partial summary judgment on punitive damages, with directed verdict on punitive damages, and with jury verdicts for…
Choice of Law Nixes Punitive Damages in Remanded Mesh Case
New Jersey ain’t Florida and vice versa. Obviously, it’s warmer in Florida for more of the year and it never gets cold enough to snow. That could be a pro or a con. Florida has the second longest coastline among U.S. States which gives it a greater opportunity to have more highly rated beaches. But…