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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Compilation of Pro-Defense State Law Rulings in Federal MDLS Summary Judgment

The Drug and Device blog has a valuable new post for those on the defense side in drug and device litigation. They compiled and linked to pro-defense MDL summary judgment rulings arising in MDLs for drug and device issues based on state law. Set out below is exactly what they did – go to their blog for the results:


"What follows will be incredibly boring to many of you, but we hope equally useful. We’ve collect individual summary judgment decisions (unless we specify a different procedural posture) in various MDLs – no matter what jurisdiction they were in. We’ve organized them by state, omitting decisions made by MDL courts applying their own forum’s law, since those cases would be found by searching “the usual suspects.” That means, if you’re researching Mississippi law, just look under “Mississippi law cases” in the list below, and there are the cases, no matter what MDL court decided them.

Caveat #1: As we’ve said many times, we don’t do the other side’s research for them. These lists include only cases where the defendant won everything (or almost everything) under a particular state’s law. As far as adverse MDL precedent is concerned, we make no representations whatsoever. Yeah, we saw some bad cases while doing this research. We’ve intentionally omitted them.

Caveat #2. We expect this list is underinclusive. Why? To keep the searches manageable, we reviewed only cases where “product liability” appeared in the name of the case (the usual way that MDLs are named), and “[insert state name] law” appeared somewhere in the body of the opinion. That means we searched “Alabama law,” not just “Alabama.” Otherwise, we’d have gotten hits for every MDL case where one of the (often scores) of attorneys was from Alabama. Still, we think our results are a lot better than nothing. We’re not aware of this kind of list having been compiled anywhere – at least anywhere that’s public.

Caveat #3. We’ve only included issues that we could see possibly arising in drug and device product liability litigation. If an MDL decision was favorable to the defendant only on, say, asbestos exposure product identification (the most common example by far), we have not included it.

Caveat #4. We have not included decisions that were driven by federal issues, such as Daubert or preemption. Federal issues involve different research considerations, so that decisions from MDLs in different circuits are less useful.

So here goes. For the first time anywhere, pro-defense product liability MDL decisions organized by the jurisdiction of the law being applied."

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