Plavix manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. seek consolidation of all injury cases for centralized management as a mass tort in the Bergen County Superior Court in New Jersey. Both manufacturers have been named as defendants in cases filed by over 40 plaintiffs around the country, including five in Atlantic County (N.J.) Superior Court, according to the April 8th application. “Consolidation of the New Jersey state actions will avoid duplicate discovery and motion practice, as well as the danger of inconsistent rulings,” defendants assert. “It will also allow this State’s courts to coordinate with other judicial systems handling multiple Plavix cases.” Plavix was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions, especially after heart attacks or strokes. Plaintiffs allege that Plavix increases risk of heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding, blood disorder, and even death. Both manufacturers want to centralize management and consolidate all Plavix claims, since they claim each of the New Jersey state actions asserts identical strict products liability, negligence, and consumer fraud claims; as well as identical damages sought out by all plaintiffs.
The defendants state that combining these cases will prevent delay of duplicative motion practice and discovery, and will eliminate inconsistent rulings on pretrial and motions. “The common pattern of these existing suits suggests that future complaints will involve the very same claims,” defendants state. “Because the cases rely on identical legal theories and seek the same type of damages, the rulings in each case will impact the perceived strength or weakness of all these matters.”