Second Circuit affirms defense verdict in favor of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.



2d Cir. -- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Complex Litigation


On August 29, 2012, the Second Circuit affirmed a defense verdict in Hogan v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 11-2468 (2d Cir.), aff’g Hogan v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., 1:06-260-BMC (E.D.N.Y.).  On appeal, plaintiff/appellant argued that the district court erred in denying her last-minute request to present testimony from a treating oral surgeon either live or by live video feed at trial.  Plaintiff’s request came after the final pretrial order and on the eve of jury selection.  The district court rejected the request, concluding that plaintiff had offered no justification for the late request and that defendant would be significantly prejudiced.  The Second Circuit affirmed on the same grounds, concluding that the district court was well within its discretion.

Including Hogan, six cases concerning the Novartis drugs Aredia® and Zometa® have been tried from the federal and state consolidated litigation, with Novartis winning four of the six cases, and three of the past four cases tried:  Hogan; Brodie v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 4:10-cv-138-HEA (E.D. Mo. Feb. 1, 2012); and Kyle v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 1:06-cv-35-R (W.D. Ky. Feb. 2, 2012).  Novartis also won the first bellwether trial arising from the New Jersey state court consolidated Aredia®/Zometa® litigation, Bessemer v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. MID-L-1835-08-MT (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. Oct. 22, 2010), and on June 13, 2012, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued its decision affirming the verdict in favor of Novartis in all respects.  See Bessemer v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. A-2069-10T1, 2012 WL 2120777 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. June 13, 2012).  In Baldwin v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 2:06-cv-4049-MJW (W.D. Mo. Apr. 9, 2012), the jury returned only $225,000.00 in compensatory damages while rejecting entirely plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages.  More than 100 Aredia® and/or Zometa® cases have been dismissed pre-trial during motions practice or in discovery.

Novartis was represented by Robert E. Johnston of Hollingsworth LLP.