Landscape of Mass Torts Places Focus on California

Things will never be the same for the practice of mass torts. There are big changes on the horizon concerning our litigation process at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm. Up until this point, it was customary to file mass tort cases against a corporation in the state where the corporation was headquartered, a state in which the corporation had such a sufficient presence that they could expect to be sued there or a state in which a substantial portion of the events that led the cause of action to occurred. Another option was to file in a Federally coordinated MDL proceeding.

Now, the California Supreme Court has delivered a game-changing decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. The Superior Court of San Francisco County and the requirements for jurisdiction have been expanded so that a non-resident of the State can file a lawsuit In California. For example, we can now file suit against corporations in California who just have offices and/or are performing specific activities in that state, even if a number of plaintiffs in the mass tort action do not live there.

This pivotal case began when Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), makers of such drugs as Eliquis, Onglyza, and Farxiga, was sued in California by dozens of California residents, combined with hundreds of non-residents, stating the drug Plavix had caused them harm. BMS felt as though the case should be dismissed in regards to the non-residents of California since jurisdiction was not met. BMS is headquartered in New York, not California and had only received 1% of its national sales from the state of California. Plavix wasn’t even manufactured there. Therefore, they wanted the court to dismiss the non-resident plaintiffs.

The case went all the way to the California Supreme Court, which ruled that jurisdiction could be expanded to more than just the location of the company’s headquarters and sales of a product. In making their decision, the Court looked heavily into the relationship between BMS and its California-based distributor, McKesson.  McKesson ensures Plavix is shipped nationwide, not just California. This means that residents of California and non-residents alike were affected by McKesson, the nationwide distributor of Plavix, and therefore BMS.

The decision, in this case, is important to you, our current and potential clients because The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is a nationwide firm that represents clients from all 50 states. This decision allows us to have strength in numbers, and when we file your lawsuit against a corporation, it will not have to be alone. We can now file groups of these claims in the same courts and consolidate our mass tort actions. This allows us to have a united front against these pharmaceutical corporations.

In California, pharmaceutical mass torts cases can be transferred to a single court, under certain procedures and by order of the court. These cases are referred to as Coordinated Proceedings or a “JCPP”. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has active leadership roles in California JCCP litigations involving the drugs Pradaxa in San Francisco and Xarelto in Los Angeles, as well as serving as a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) in the Federally coordinated Multi-District Litigation involving the drug Viagra.

At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we have almost 20 years of experience in handling mass torts and complex products liability actions. Our lead trial attorney and firm founder, Michael Brady Lynch, is admitted to practice in California, and we receive referrals from dozens of firms across the country due to our expertise in these types of actions. We file our cases in both Federal and State courts but are selective with the venue in order to highlight the specific strengths of each case. With this new decision in the BMS case, we will now have another powerful tool at our disposal to utilize while fighting to ensure our clients receive the compensation they are entitled to.

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is currently at the forefront of litigations representing users of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra who have been diagnosed with melanoma, adolescent boys who were prescribed Risperdal and developed gynecomastia, Invokana ketoacidosis and kidney failure cases, Essure birth control complications and those who have suffered internal bleeding/hemorrhaging associated with use of the drugs Pradaxa and Xarelto. If you or a loved one experienced an adverse event after taking a prescription medication, contact the dedicated attorneys at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm today at 877-513-9517.

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