Practice Areas
Court of Common Appeals, Pennsylvania
GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, Inc.
Grunenthal GMBH
File Date

02/09/16: Appellate Court Declines Review of Sanctions Order as Unripe for Appeal
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Hagens Berman’s appeal of the sanctions ordered against Hagens Berman on March 9, 2015. This does not mean that the Third Circuit affirmed the sanctions order, but rather that the Third Circuit concluded that the sanctions order is not yet in a final form that can be appealed.

02/05/16: Appellate Court Denies En Banc Review
The judges of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review the previous order issued by the three-judge panel. This means that all avenues of appeal in the Third Circuit have been exhausted, and that the dismissal of Debra Johnson’s case has been affirmed. Mrs. Johnson did not petition for review by the United States Supreme Court.

01/05/16: Debra Johnson Ruling Affirmed by Appellate Court
A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Debra Johnson’s claims.  We sought review en banc by all judges of the Court of Appeals.

04/01/15: Plaintiff Claims Dismissed, HB Plans Appeal
Judge Diamond has now dismissed the claims of Plaintiff Debra Johnson who resides in Louisiana. We will appeal this decision. The Court’s principal reason for granting summary judgment is that under Louisiana law, a parent’s knowledge is automatically imputed to her child. This analysis deprives every wrongfully injured child subject to Louisiana law any right to pursue her claim where her parent knows of it, but conceals it from the child, and takes no action on her behalf. The evidence in this case is all one way that plaintiff’s mother concealed her ingestion of thalidomide from her daughter. We do not believe such a sweeping denial of children’s rights in Louisiana is warranted by law.

03/09/15: Sanctions Awarded
Judge Diamond awarded sanctions against Hagens Berman in three thalidomide cases because he thought they should have been dismissed as untenable by at least April of last year. Hagens Berman has responded as below.

Hagens Berman respectfully disagrees with Judge Diamond’s findings that we should have dismissed three cases by April of last year when it became clear they were untenable. Speaking on behalf of the firm, Hagens Berman partner Nick Styant-Browne said, “Although we recognize these cases raised challenging legal and factual issues, we believed in good faith that the claims of these newly discovered thalidomide victims should be pursued.

"Regrettably, the Judge determined to adopt the report of his Special Master without bothering to address the substance of the firm’s objections made in its extensive brief setting out the multiple flawed bases for the sanctions. In particular, the Judge relied on facts that were not in the record, and ascribed bad faith motives to the firm without any foundation. We look forward to the opportunity for the Third Circuit to hear and address our arguments as soon as we are able to appeal."

09/27/13: Statute of Limitations Argument Rejected
In a decision impacting more than 50 lawsuits brought by thalidomide victims in the United States, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond yesterday rejected several pharmaceutical companies’ argument that the statute of limitations has passed.

08/09/12: Complaint Filed
Hagens Berman has filed a complaint on behalf of 11 alleged thalidomide victims. The complaint includes new documentation, including recently translated documents uncovered for the first time in German archives and internal FDA documents.

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