Cases & Deals

Abbott prevails on appeal of first products liability trial involving Lupron

Client(s) Abbott Laboratories

On behalf of Abbott Laboratories, Jones Day successfully defended an appeal of Abbott's trial victory in the first-ever products liability trial involving the drug Lupron. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected all of the plaintiff’s claims of error and affirmed the jury’s complete defense verdict.

A doctor prescribed Lupron to the plaintiff at the age of 17. Alleging that the drug rendered her permanently disabled, the plaintiff asserted various failure-to-warn claims and sought massive compensatory and punitive damages against Abbott and its former joint venture, TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc. The case was tried to a jury in a federal court in Las Vegas by a Jones Day team including Dan Reidy, June Ghezzi, and Jeremy Cole (all of the Chicago office). The jury returned a unanimous verdict for Abbott and TAP.

On appeal, the plaintiff claimed that the jury verdict was the product of erroneous discovery rulings, evidentiary rulings, and judicial bias.  Largely adopting the arguments laid out in Abbott’s response brief, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the verdict in its entirety. The court held that the district court’s discovery and evidentiary rulings were well within its discretion, and that plaintiff “had not even remotely established” judicial bias.

The Chicago-based appeal team included partner Brian Murray and associate Nicole Henning.

Klein v. TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc. and Abbott Laboratories, No. 11-17250 (9th Cir., May 14, 2013)