Plaintiffs Want Zoloft MDL Tried in State Court
A federal judge is reviewing a request by two plaintiffs in the Zoloft multidistrict litigation (MDL) that asks that their case be sent back to California state court on the grounds that McKesson, the distributor of the antidepressant drug, should also be joined to the case.
According to Law360 (subscription required), the plaintiffs sued Pfizer Inc. and McKesson earlier this year in California state court, alleging that the manufacturer and the distributor both failed to warn of the possible side effects of using Zoloft during pregnancy. The plaintiffs thought that their lawsuit would be combined with similar Zoloft birth defect cases pending in the state court.
However, their case was removed at Pfizer’s request to federal court in California in September and was eventually transferred to the federal MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to Law360. Pfizer Inc. had argued that McKesson was improperly joined to the lawsuit and since the key parties in the case belong to different jurisdictions, the suit belonged in federal court.
However, the plaintiffs argue that leaving McKesson out of the lawsuit was against California’s strict liability law, which holds both manufacturers and distributors liable. The plaintiffs have also cited that more than 40 district courts that have rejected the notion that McKesson has been fraudulently joined in similar lawsuits, reports Law360.