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California Saxagliptin Lawsuit Plaintiffs Score Big Procedural Win

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Washington, DCSaxagliptin lawsuit plaintiffs just got a big victory. The fact that they can sue in California courts under California law will affect whether and how much they can recover for the injuries they have suffered.

Saxagliptin, a prescription drug used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, is marketed as Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR. In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a post-marketing study that found that Onglyza patients were 27 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure. The study also found a significant increase in the rate of “all-cause mortality” among Onglyza patients.

Cortina v. Bristol-Myers Squibb
In Cortina v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., plaintiff, Dino Cortina claimed that:
• Saxagliptin side effects include heart failure, and other serious medical conditions to patients who are already vulnerable because of Type 2 diabetes;
• AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP ("AstraZeneca") and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ("Bristol-Myers") failed to warn patients adequately about these risks;
• AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers conducted flawed tests on the drug; and then;
• Both companies misreported the results.

The peculiar problem, however, is that Dino Cortina is a resident of New York. AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers are respectively a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York; and a Delaware limited partnership with its principal place of business in Delaware.

Dubose v. Bristol-Myers Squibb
In Dubose, Ophelia Dubose, a resident of South Carolina, made similar allegations against the same set of defendants.

So why should California law apply? No plaintiff lives there and the drug companies’ connections seem tangential.

Procedural Jockeying
Nothing produces glassy-eyed boredom faster for most people than legal squabbles over personal jurisdiction. But tort cases can be won or lost at exactly this point. Where people sue can make a big difference in the outcome.

In both cases, the court decided that it was appropriate to apply California law because clinical trials of Saxagliptin had taken place within the state.

California has a reputation as a plaintiff-friendly venue especially in pharmaceutical product-liability cases. According to a study published by the Civil Justice Association of California, hardly a plaintiff-friendly organization, these suits have consistently produced some of the country’s largest verdicts in tort cases. In addition, California, unlike many other states does not cap punitive damages.

Although much litigation has yet to get to trial, potential plaintiffs have some early good news to celebrate. California could be a very good place for Saxagliptin lawsuits.


Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR Legal Help

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