Sixth Circuit affirms summary judgment for Novartis in Aredia®/Zometa® case.



6th Cir. -- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Complex Litigation


On June 5, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the exclusion of plaintiff’s designated specific causation experts and summary judgment for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in a lawsuit arising out of the federal Aredia® / Zometa® MDL.  In Simmons v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., the Sixth Circuit affirmed the MDL court’s rulings that the witnesses plaintiff designated to opine on specific causation, i.e., whether Aredia® and/or Zometa® caused Mr. Simmons to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw, did not satisfy Federal Rule of Evidence 702.  The Sixth Circuit agreed that plaintiff did not establish that the designated experts  (1) were qualified to opine on the etiology of Mr. Simmons’s jaw condition, and (2) reliably ruled out potential alternative causes.  Because the plaintiff lacked admissible causation evidence, summary judgment was properly granted.

Simmons marked the 17th appeal — and the 17th affirmance in NPC's favor — of cases resolved by motion in the Aredia®/Zometa® consolidated litigations.  More than one hundred Aredia® and/or Zometa® cases have been dismissed pre-trial during motions practice or in discovery.

Novartis is represented in Simmons by Joe G. Hollingsworth, Gregory S. Chernack, and James M. Sullivan of Hollingsworth LLP.