MDL Panel Considers P&G Spray Deodorants, Abbott Labs Formula

  • Atrium Fights Consolidation of ProLite and ProLoop Hernia Mesh Sheaths
  • Aerosol products from Procter & Gamble, Preemie Formulas from Abbott, and Columbia River Dams will also be considered.

(Reuters) – The Multidistrict Litigation Judicial Panel will meet in New Orleans on Thursday to hear motions to consolidate or coordinate pretrial proceedings in product liability cases involving ProLite and ProLoop hernia mesh products from Atrium Medical, deodorant sprays from Procter & Gamble and Abbott Nutritional Formulas for Premature Infants from the laboratories.

The court will also consider Columbia Riverkeeper’s motion to create an MDL for two cases accusing the US Army Corps of Engineers of violating the Clean Water Act.

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MDL No. 3024 − In re Atrium Medical Corporation ProLite and ProLoop Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation

Atrium Medical, which has a pending global settlement in C-QUR hernia mesh MDL in New Hampshire, is fighting to prevent new MDL on its ProLite and ProLoop mesh products.

Plaintiffs Jose Avila of California and Clark Kolbeck of Wisconsin are seeking to consolidate their 2021 lawsuits with two that were filed in 2017 and 2018, and five more that began this year. The plaintiffs all allege that they were harmed by manufacturing, design and labeling defects in the ProLite or ProLoop products and that Atrium failed to warn physicians of the risks associated with the internal use of coated polypropylene mesh.

Avila and Kolbeck suggest assigning the cases to U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles, where Avila’s suit is pending.

Atrium denies the allegations and says an MDL is not necessary. He indicates that the informal coordination has worked well so far and that the discovery is almost complete in the first two cases.

If the panel creates an MDL, Atrium suggests assigning it to U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland in Chicago. She presided over a jury trial in another ProLite case last October, which resulted in a defense verdict.

For Atrium Medical: Mark Cheffo of Dechert

For Avila and Kolbeck: Dan Bolton of Keller, Fishback & Jackson; Adam Evans of Brenes Law Group

MDL No. 3025 − In Re: Procter & Gamble Aerosol Products Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation

Procter & Gamble is seeking MDL treatment for “all consumer class action lawsuits challenging P&G aerosol products,” stemming from two reports by independent pharmacy Valisure that found they may contain benzene, a human carcinogen.

P&G last year launched voluntary recalls and refund programs for Old Spice and Secret aerosols and about 30 other products, including several brands of dry shampoos and conditioners, after its own tests confirmed “trace amounts “benzene” due to a problem with (the manufacturer’s propellant supply contract).

As of Friday, 25 proposed class action lawsuits were pending in the proposed MDL, seeking economic damages and injunctive relief under the state’s consumer protection laws. P&G has asked that the cases be assigned to the Southern District of Florida – either to U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles in Miami, who is overseeing the first lawsuit; or U.S. District Judge Anuraag Singhal in Fort Lauderdale, who is evaluating a proposed settlement of a similar MDL involving Johnson & Johnson’s aerosol sunscreen products.

None of the plaintiffs oppose the consolidation. However, several groups that have filed suit in federal court in Cincinnati, where P&G is headquartered, say the MDL should be run there.

For Procter & Gamble: Andrew Soukup of Covington & Burling

For Ohio supporters: Joseph Braun of Strauss Troy; Jonathan Shub of Shub Law; Steven Bloch of Silver Golub & Teitell, and others

MDL No. 3026 − In re Abbott Laboratories, et al, Preterm Infant Nutrition Products Liability Litigation

Faced with a growing list of lawsuits and an advertising campaign by plaintiffs’ attorneys, Abbott Laboratories and Mead Nutrition are seeking to shore up cases alleging cow’s milk formulas and supplements given to hospitalized premature babies are making them sick or die of a known illness. such as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.

Abbott, which makes the Similac brand, denies the claims and says its products increase babies’ chances of survival. When he filed his motion to create the MDL in January, 17 cases were pending in federal courts across the country. As of Friday, there were at least 40, with many more in state court.

Enfamil-maker Mead supports Abbott’s motion for consolidation and assignment to U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill in Connecticut, who has more than two years of experience supervising early NEC cases.

Several plaintiffs have suggested other locations — particularly in Illinois, where Abbott’s headquarters are located and where dozens of state court lawsuits are ongoing.

For Abbott Laboratories: Stephanie Parker and Meir Feder of Jones Day

For Mead Nutrition: Rachel Cannon of Steptoe & Johnson

For Illinois promoters: Jose Rojas and Stephen Reck of Levin, Rojas, Camassar & Reck; C. Andrews Charles de Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty, Proctor, Buchanan, O’Brien, Barr & Mougey; Wendy Fleishman of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, and more

MDL No. 3027 − In Re: Columbia River Dams Clean Water Act Litigation (No. II)

Columbia Riverkeeper seeks MDL treatment for twin lawsuits it filed in federal courts in Oregon and Washington last December accusing the US Army Corps of Engineers of illegally polluting the Columbia River with hot water, oil and toxic chemicals from three dam sites.

The Corps agrees that the cases be transferred to U.S. District Chief Judge Stanley Bastian in Richland, Washington. And, while both sides acknowledge it might be possible to transfer the case from Oregon to Bastian without involving the panel, they say an MDL is “more secure and efficient” and would be consistent with the history. of the dispute.

Both suits are remnants of an earlier MDL on the Corps’ operation of the same dams and several others along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. As part of a 2014 settlement, the Corps agreed to obtain discharge permits for the dams, and Columbia Riverkeeper agreed to give it seven years to do so.

The Dalles, John Day and McNary dams still do not have permits in violation of the Clean Water Act, Riverkeeper alleges.

The panel will rule on the motion without hearing any argument.

For Columbia Riverkeeper: Brian Knutsen of Kampmeier & Knutsen

For the US Army Corps of Engineers: Mark Nitczynski and Todd Kim of the US Department of Justice

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Freeda S. Scott