The Judicial Panel on Multi district Litigation recently ruled on a centralization request made by a plaintiff in ongoing litigation against pharmaceutical company Novartis. The plaintiff who made the request had originally filed in the Southern District of Illinois, explaining that the remainder of the plaintiffs from eighteen different actions in twelve different districts also supported the motion for centralization.
The litigation involves “atherosclerotic injuries associated with use of the chronic myeloid leukemia drug Tasigna.” It accuses Novartis of failing to “appropriately warn of the risks that use of Tasigna may cause,” including the aforementioned potential for atherosclerotic injuries. Not only did the defendant fail to warn of the risks, but they also allegedly took steps to conceal their knowledge of the risks in an effort to appear less liable.
The defendant, Novartis, was opposed to one of the plaintiffs’ movements for centralization. They insisted that informal cooperation continue to take place as opposed to consolidation if the cases. Their argument included their belief that the number of actions is too little to call for centralization, especially given the precedent courts have previously set for the number of cases it usually takes for them to centralize a suit.
After the court considered the arguments of both the plaintiff and the defendant, they reached a conclusion, expressing their belief that “centralization of these actions in the Middle District of Florida will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.” The actions all share similar factual backgrounds such that consolidation makes sense in the eyes of the law.
The statement issued by the court also explained their reasoning for selecting the Middle District of Florida as the location for the litigation, stating that it would offer “a convenient and readily accessible district that is underutilized as a transferee forum.”