Will SCOTUS Ruling Affect Philadelphia Court, Where 94% Of New Plaintiffs Are From Out Of State?

Via Forbes by Nicholas Malfitano | Aug. 17, 2017

Out-of-state plaintiffs flocked to Philadelphia this year to file lawsuits over prescription drugs, but a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision might deter that practice in the future.

Thousands of claimants who have brought their lawsuits in Philadelphia will have to see if pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson decide to use a June 19 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found an out-of-state plaintiff couldn’t file suit in California.

Supreme Court justices ruled 8-1 in favor of Bristol Myers-Squibb after the company argued plaintiffs living outside California who alleged injury from BMS’s blood thinner Plavix should not be able to sue the company in that state.

The Supreme Court delivered an opinion that, in effect, could spell the end of the all-inclusive view of personal jurisdiction. Plavix was not designed or made in California, and the company is headquartered in New York.

“Non-residents can sue in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas if the defendant is either incorporated in Pennsylvania (not very likely) or has a principal place of business in Pennsylvania (more likely),” said James Beck, Senior Life Sciences Policy Analyst for Reed Smith in Philadelphia.

Two of the biggest mass tort programs in the Philadelphia Complex Litigation Center process lawsuits filed over Risperdal, which is produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) and allegedly causes boys to develop breasts, and Xarelto, a blood-thinner made by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson that allegedly causes bleeding events.

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