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MDL court grants Summary Judgment in four first-wave Zometa cases; Case No. 3:06-0659, Emerson/Crews.

news | August 17, 2009

In the first wave of cases in the In re Aredia and Zometa Products Liability Litigation, Chief Judge Todd Campbell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted summary judgment for firm client Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (“NPC”) on August 13, 2009 in a pharmaceutical products liability lawsuit involving claims asserted on behalf of a deceased multiple myeloma patient.  (Click here to view the Memorandum.)  Judge Campbell applied a Florida statute that creates a rebuttable presumption in a products liability lawsuit that the product at issue is not defective or unreasonably dangerous and the manufacturer is not liable if (1) the product complied with federal codes, regulations or standards relevant to the event that allegedly caused the harm; (2) the codes, regulations, or standards were designed to prevent the type of harm that allegedly occurred; and (3) compliance with the codes, regulations, or standards was required as a condition for selling or distributing the product.  Fl. Stat. Ann. § 768.1256(1).  Plaintiff tried to respond to NPC’s reliance on this statute by arguing that the FDA approvals for Aredia® and Zometa® were obtained improperly, but Judge Campbell pointed out that this argument was not supported by any citations to the record and that, in any event, this argument is foreclosed by the Supreme Court’s federal preemption ruling in Buckman v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee