Monday, November 16, 2009
Dan Levine, Pair of Plaintiffs Lawyers May Face Different Fates in 9th Circuit Disciplinary Action, The Recorder (discussing disciplinary action in Nicaraguan pesticides case).
Francis E. McGovern (Duke), The Second Generation of Dispute System Design: Reoccurring Problems and Potential Solutions, Ohio St. J. Disp. Resol. (2008) (posted on SSRN).
William H. Simon (Stanford & Columbia), Moral Freaks: Lawyers’ Ethics in Academic Perspective, Geo. J. Lgl. Ethics (forthcoming) (posted on SSRN).
Keith N. Hylton (Boston Univ.) & Haizhen Lin (Indiana), Trial Selection Theory and Evidence: A Review (posted on SSRN).
Neil Vidmar (Duke) & Mirya R. Holman (Duke), The Frequency, Predictability and Proportionality of Punitive Damages in State Courts (posted to SSRN).
Patrick M. Connors (Albany), Which Party Pays the Costs of Document Disclosure?, Pace L. Rev. (2009) (posted to SSRN).
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yesterday, a Philadelphia jury found for the plaintiff in the punitive damages phase of a trial involving Prempro, the hormone replacement therapy. How much Wyeth (now a unit of Pfizer) must pay Connie Barton, however, remains secret. Judge Sandra Moss, who oversees the Prempro state court litigation in Philadelphia, ordered the verdict sealed because another Prempro trial had begun and the defendant requested the order to prevent biasing the other jury. Until the verdict is unsealed, only Barton, her lawyers, and Wyeth's lawyers may see the verdict. In the compensatory damages phase, which concluded last month, the jury awarded Barton $3.7 million. Here's the report from Bloomberg about yesterday's verdict.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Bad news for Glaxo. The first trial involving claims that the antidepressant Paxil causes birth defects ended with a $2.5 million jury verdict for the plaintiff. The family of Lyam Kilker sued GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, blaming the boy's heart defect on his mother's ingestion of Paxil during pregnancy. The jury, by a 10-2 vote, concluded that Glaxo negligently failed to warn of the risk and that Paxil caused the child's heart condition. While the jury awarded notably large compensatory damages (the family sought $1.2 million), it rejected punitive damages by deciding that the defendant's conduct was not "outrageous." The case is Kilker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. dba GlaxoSmithKline. Here are links to reports at Philadelphia Inquirer, Pharmalot, Point of Law, and Law.com.
In addition to about 600 cases involving claims that Paxil causes birth defects, Glaxo has faced claims that Paxil increases the risk of suicide and homicide. The company has reportedly settled some suicide claims, and in 2001 a Wyoming jury rendered a $6.4 million verdict against Glaxo in a case involving a man who shot his family and himself after taking Paxil.