Bexis

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JAMES M. BECK is Counsel resident in the Philadelphia office of ReedSmith. He is the author of, among other things, Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Handbook (2004) (with Anthony Vale). He wrote the seminal law review article on off-label use cited by the Supreme Court in Buckman v. Plaintiffs Legal Committee. He has written more amicus briefs for the Product Liability Advisory Council than anyone else in the history of the organization, and in 2011 won PLAC's highest honor, the John P. Raleigh award. He has been a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) since 2005. He is the long-time editor of the newsletter of the ABA's Mass Torts Committee.  He is vice chair of the Class Actions and Multi-Plaintiff Litigation SLG of DRI's Drug and Device Committee.  He can be reached at jmbeck@reedsmith.com.  His LiinkedIn page is here.

Latest Articles

A jurisprudential milestone of sorts was recognized last month when the ever rising tide of federal MDL filings surpassed 50% − that’s right, over half – of all cases currently open in the federal judicial system now are contained in multi-district litigation.  As reported, “the 248 MDL dockets accounted for 52 percent of all pending federal civil cases at the end of the last fiscal year.”  Here’s a more detailed review: A year ago,…
Last year, we posted about Pennsylvania going off the personal jurisdictional “deep end” in Hammons v. Ethicon, Inc., 190 A.3d 1248 (Pa. Super. 2018), and Webb-Benjamin, LLC v. International Rug Group, LLC, 192 A.3d 1133 (Pa. Super. 2018).  Well, unfortunately they’re still at it, and we’re afraid that the result could well be a lot like the Missouri talc cases, or a bunch of California mass torts – a lot of futile trial activity eventually…
We saw recently that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has sent its proposed “Regulation To Require Drug Pricing Transparency” to the Office of Management & Budget (“OMB”). We’d heard about this proposed regulation, of course, but we hadn’t gotten around to reading it.  We finally took the time. Many readers probably already know, but for those who don’t, CMS is proposing “to require direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertisements of prescription drugs and…
Say what? That’s what we thought when we ran across Restatement §920 recently – it was by accident; we were researching something else. The 900 section of the Second Restatement of Torts is about damages, and §920 has to do with mitigation of damages: When the defendant’s tortious conduct has caused harm to the plaintiff or to his property and in so doing has conferred a special benefit to the interest of the plaintiff that…
We are occasionally reminded by reader comments that all work and no play makes DDLaw a dull blog.  It’s been a long time since we did one of our “Friday Frivolity” posts, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t. So what we’re doing today – if you choose to participate − is quizzing our readers about references in rock and roll songs to actual historical figures.  Here are the guidelines: First, the references must be…
We’ve already discussed many of the implications of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017) (“BMS”), for personal jurisdiction in mass tort cases.  We’re not going to repeat any of that here.  What we are proposing today is a relatively simple test that cuts the Gordian Knot surrounding the prospective application of the BMS “arising from”/”related to” test for minimum contacts. Briefly, the specific (“case-linked”) jurisdiction requirement that “the suit must…
We’ve blogged before about the substantive (preemption) and procedural (removal) aspects of the Eliquis MDL – both of which the defense seemed to be winning.  However, we cautioned in our 2018 “Best Of” post that these favorable decisions “still face[d] an appeal.” No longer.  The appeal has been decided, and the plaintiff’s losing streak continues. The Second Circuit just unanimously delivered a big win for our side. See Gibbons v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., ___ F.3d…
Today’s guest post by Reed Smith associate Tim Carwinski addresses the broader possible ramifications of a recent Supreme Court decision, Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, 139 S. Ct. 710 (2019).  This is one of those many cases that we saw something about, but it didn’t seem that pertinent to what we do, so we let it go.  Tim let us know that there was more to this decision than was apparent from the legal press, and…
Forget the Reptile Theory; today’s topic is even more atavistic than that – what defendants can rely on when xenophobia and racism invade the courtroom.  That kind of sub-reptilian gambit unfortunately still exists, and can play out in a number of ways. Sometimes an appeal to prejudice is made via raw, frontal assault – often when plaintiffs’ lawyers play to a jury’s perceived nativist impulses because the defendant is a company based in Europe, Japan,…
On March 5, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb abruptly announced his resignation, effective in a month.  Since then, it has been announced that Dr. Ned Sharpless, currently head of the National Cancer Institute, will replace Dr. Gottlieb on an “acting” basis.  This is disturbing generally, as Dr. Gottlieb has stood out as a demonstrably competent appointee.  It is also disturbing, to us, as Dr. Gottlieb leaves with a grade of “incomplete” in the area…