Napoli Shkolnik Appears Before US Supreme Court

The issue being heard is a challenge to the California Supreme Court’s decision that out of state victims may sue in California.

Next week, Plaintiffs, including representatives from Napoli Shkolnik, will appear before the United States Supreme Court.  The Court will consider a challenge to California’s highest court decision which upheld the rule of law that out-of-state victims can join California residents in suing a pharmaceutical company in California State Court where the claims and injuries are similar.

This case involves litigation filed on behalf of hundreds of individuals from 33 states who sustained injuries associated with the drug Plavix®.  The Superior Court of San Francisco, the Court of Appeal of the State of California and the Supreme Court of the State of California all validated Plaintiffs’ position that corporations must be held accountable for the injuries their products cause.   Bristol-Myers Squibb Company challenged these decisions at every turn.

Millions of people in the United States suffer from heart disease and cardiac injuries that often have a fatal outcome. In order to prevent another cardiac event in the future, patients are prescribed the proper medical treatments to minimize the risk of further heart problems, and one of the most commonly prescribed solutions is a drug known as Plavix.

Since it was first approved by the FDA in 1997, Plavix was regularly prescribed to people with a higher risk of cardiovascular issues such as strokes or heart attacks. The Bristol-Myers Squibb medication soon became the top-selling drug on the market and made about $7 billion in sales over a decade of popularity.

Since the inception of this litigation, Plaintiffs have successfully argued that contacts with California were sufficiently “related to” the claims of the out-of-state plaintiffs to justify an exercise of specific jurisdiction based in large part on their nationwide marketing and promotion decisions.

Multiple briefs in support of Plaintiffs were filed by various advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, public interest groups, and educators.

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is looking forward to presenting Plaintiffs’ position to the Justices along with appellate counsel Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell P.C.  Shayna E. Sacks, a partner with the firm, said she is “confident that the United States Supreme Court will agree with the California Supreme Court and continue to hold the pharmaceutical industry and other large corporations responsible for their deceptive nationwide practices.”

Partner Marie Napoli added “the impact of this decision will have far reaching effects on the rights of victims in their fight against corporate greed and influence.”

The case is Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v S.C., Supreme Court of the United States, No. 16-466.  A decision should be issued in early summer 2017.

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California’s Highest Court: Out-Of-State Victims May Sue in California