U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York grants Firm client Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s Daubert motion to exclude testimony by plaintiff's expert.

04/04/11

NY

E.D.N.Y. -- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Complex Litigation

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Just weeks before jury selection was scheduled to begin in the case of Hogan v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. in the Eastern District of New York, in which plaintiff claims that NPC's allegedly inadequate warnings for Zometa were the proximate cause of her husband's development of osteonecrosis of the jaw, NPC successfully excluded plaintiff''s purported regulatory and warnings expert Dr. Suzanne Parisian's testimony in its entirety.  In granting NPC's Daubert motion, United States District Court Judge Brain M. Cogan noted his “concern that all of plaintiff’s experts, to some degree, are being proffered as ‘superlawyers’ to serve as scientifically informed advocates of conclusions that plaintiff wants the jury to reach and which belong only in summation, not expert testimony.”  The Court held that “most of [Dr. Parisian's] testimony is irrelevant to the present action" because FDA never concluded that NPC failed to comply with any regulations.  Judge Cogan determined that because the vast majority of her proposed testimony was irrelevant, "if the Court allowed Dr. Parisian to testify, the side show [that would result if she were allowed to testify] would turn into the main event.”  Moreover, to the extent that Dr. Parisian's 120-page report included potentially relevant opinions concerning pharmaceutical company operating procedures and ethical standards, Judge Cogan deemed her unqualified to render expert testimony because she has never worked for a pharmaceutical company, and in her “stint” at FDA she was not involved in the regulation of pharmaceutical products.  The Court's exclusion of Dr. Parisian's testimony in its entirety leaves plaintiff without any regulatory or warnings experts.  The Court also excluded the testimony of plaintiff's oral surgeon expert, Dr. Robert Marx, concerning NPC's allegedly "bad faith" corporate conduct and from offering criticisms of NPC’s design of its clinical trials.  

 
Novartis is represented by Firm partner Robert E. Johnston

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