Causation in personal injury actions, including product liability claims related to drugs and medical devices and toxic tort actions related to exposure to hazardous substances, must be proven within a reasonable degree of medical probability based upon competent expert testimony. That’s typically the plaintiff’s burden of proof. Do the defendants bear the same burden? In Kline v Zimmer, the California Court of Appeal recently held that, in challenging the plaintiff’s causation evidence, defense expert testimony should be held to a standard of “less than a reasonable medical probability.”
Kline involved the plaintiff’s claim that the Durom Cup hip implant, manufactured by defendant Zimmer, Inc. and utilized in his first hip replacement surgery, was defective and caused him to require an additional surgery, which resulted in further injury. Evidence presented by the plaintiff at trial included an expert who testified to a reasonable medical probability that the Durom Cup’s defects caused the plaintiff to need the additional surgery, which resulted in changes in his muscles and soft tissues causing him chronic pain.
To read the the full article by Duane Morris attorney Michael L. Fox, which originally appeared in the IADC Committee Newsletter, please visit the Duane Morris LLP website.
On April 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued an order in the pending Zantac multidistrict litigation (”MDL”) requiring disclosure of funding arrangements and funding documentation between plaintiffs’ counsel and third-party litigation financiers. This order represents some increased traction in favor of arguments seeking to require disclosure of third-party funding arrangements in MDLs.
The Zantac MDL, In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2924, was originally formed by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation on February 6, 2020. The plaintiffs sued various defendants, including manufacturer Sanofi and its distributors, alleging that the active ingredient in the heartburn medication Zantac breaks down to form a carcinogen that caused personal injuries. Included in the MDL are also six putative classes of consumers who sought refunds and economic damages based on their purchase of Zantac. Due to a number of actions already pending in the Southern District of Florida, the Panel transferred the remaining actions to that court to be assigned to the Honorable Robin L. Rosenberg.
Continue reading “Order Requires Disclosure of 3rd Party Funding Information in Zantac MDL”