LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 6 Former Insys Executives Indicted For Paying Kickbacks For Opioid Scripts

BOSTON - Six former executives and managers of drug maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. were indicted Dec. 6 for racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly bribing medical practitioners to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl-containing pain drug, and for defrauding medical insurers, according to a criminal information unsealed Dec. 8 (United States of America v. Michael L. Babich, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - No Error In Admission Of Fingerprint Testimony In Criminal Case, Panel Finds

BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in admitting expert testimony concerning the absence of fingerprints on a gun that a jury found a defendant had possessed, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 1, affirming a man's conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm (United States of America v. Verissimo Tavares, No. 14-2319, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21491).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Fungal Meningitis Defendant Wants Criminal Trial Continued To Review Evidence

BOSTON - A defendant facing federal murder charges in connection with the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak on Nov. 25 asked a Massachusetts federal court to continue his January trial, saying he is at a disadvantage because he only recently got access to discovery from the personal injury multidistrict litigation that is likely to be used against him (United States of America v. Glenn Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Husband, Wife Sentenced For Evasive Bank Transfers In Wake Of NECC Probe

BOSTON - A husband and wife in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak criminal case were sentenced Nov. 9 for structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds UCL And RICO Claims Against Attorney Must Be Dismissed

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 7 found that an attorney never represented several defendants in a criminal action and had no duty to them, dismissing their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Yijin Lu, et al. v. Deng, et al., No. 2:16-cv-07283, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154395).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - No Error In Admission Of Testimony On Forensic Child Interviewing, Panel Rules

LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Nov. 2 found no error in the admission of testimony from a woman who interviewed a sexual abuse victim as an expert in forensic child interviewing because the woman had sufficient experience and there was enough independent evidence to support the criminal case (State of Louisiana v. Christopher Lance Washburn, No. 16-335, La. App., 3rd Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 2040).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Won't Dismiss Mail Fraud Counts Against 2 Plaintiffs In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Nov. 2 declined to dismiss 20 mail fraud counts against two defendants in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act criminal case (United States of American v. Barry Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-103363, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - No Error In Holding Daubert Hearing Without Defendant, 1st Circuit Concludes

BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in continuing in the absence of a defendant a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. (509 U.S. 579 [1993]) to determine whether an arson investigator may testify in a criminal case because there was independent evidence that the fire was deliberately set, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (United States of America v. Kormahyah Karmue, No. 15-1990, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19475).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 10th Circuit Finds No Error In Allowing Sexual Assault Testimony In Criminal Case

DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 affirmed that a district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting a certified sexual assault nurse examiner's testimony that a victim's scratching of herself was consistent with sexual assault and domestic abuse victims coping with the trauma they have experienced (United States of America v. Leslie Chapman, Nos. 15-2143 and 15-2173, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19217).

Mealey's Insurance - North Carolina Law Bars Insurance Fraud Claim Against Device Seller, Judge Rules

CAMDEN, N.J. - Two companies that sell transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices and associated accessories to medical professionals and allegedly submitted inflated bills to Aetna Health Inc. and Aetna Life Insurance Co. (collectively, Aetna) cannot face allegations of insurance fraud brought by the insurer, a federal judge in New Jersey rule Oct. 19, explaining that North Carolina law requires that the accused party be criminally convicted of insurance fraud before bringing the claim (Aetna Health Inc., et al. v. Carolina Analgesic Inc., et al., No. 13-7202, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144872).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Testimony On Human Memory In Criminal Case As 'Unnecessary'

CHICAGO - A defendant charged with providing a minor with a gun used in a crime failed to establish that her expert's testimony on perception and human memory is "necessary for adequate representation," an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 20, declining to appoint an expert under the Criminal Justice Act (United States of America v. Vandetta Redwood, No. 16-CR-80, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145307).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DOJ: 4 Companies To Pay $3.5M Over Clean Air Act Violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 11 that four companies have agreed to pay $3.5 million for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of releases of hazardous pollutants at two oil- and chemical-processing facilities in Texas.

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Government To List Firearms Expert's Opinions In Criminal Case

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Oct. 4 ordered the U.S. government to provide more information on what its firearms expert will be testifying on in a criminal case but refused to exclude the testimony on the basis that the government stated only the general topics covered by the expert (United States of America v. Santos Peter Murillo, No. CR16-0113, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138595).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Permits Testimony On Ingestion Of Lethal Amount Of Cyanide In Criminal Case

PORTLAND, Maine - Email statements made by a deceased man are not hearsay and are admissible in a case of mail fraud and retaliation, a Maine federal judge ruled Sept. 30, also refusing to exclude an expert's testimony that the man died from his own ingestion of a lethal amount of potassium cyanide (United States of America v. Sidney P. Kilmartin, No. 14-00129, D. Maine; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135299).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 3rd Circuit Vacates Dismissal, Class Certification Rulings In Deportation Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 22 vacated a trial court's partial dismissal and denial of class certification rulings issued in a lawsuit by foreign nationals who claim that attempts to deport them following criminal convictions are unconstitutional (Garfield Gayle, et al. v. Warden Monmouth County Correctional Institution, et al., No. 15-1785, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17321).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 'Criminal Falsehoods' Warrant Flint, Mich., Lead Case Against State, Residents Say

DETROIT - A group of Michigan residents on Sept. 22 filed an omnibus response in a lawsuit regarding the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., contending that although employees of the state have yet to be indicted for the lead water crisis in Flint, there are "more than enough questions of fact, internal contradictions, and criminal falsehoods" to warrant denial of their motion to dismiss (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Conspiracy Count Survives In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Criminal Case

BOSTON - The judge presiding over a federal criminal case in Massachusetts stemming from the fungal meningitis outbreak on Sept. 21 denied a motion by five defendants to dismiss a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration (United States of America v. Barry Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128933).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Drug Manufacturers' Group Wants In As Amicus In Off-Label Criminal Case

BOSTON - A drug manufacturers' organization on Sept. 17 asked a federal district court to allow it to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of an acquittal or new trial for two former drug company executives convicted of adulterating and misbranding a medical device (United States of America v. William Facteau, et al., No. 15-10076, D. Mass.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 4th Circuit Orders Forfeiture Of Megaupload's Foreign-Held Assets

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Aug. 12 upheld a trial court ruling ordering the forfeiture to the U.S. government of New Zealand and Hong Kong-held assets of now defunct Internet file storage service Megaupload and others involved in a criminal copyright infringement conspiracy, finding the forfeiture to be supported by the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (United States of America v. Finn Batato, et al., No. 15-1360, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14861).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Acclarent Pays $18M For Off-Label Marketing Of Sinus Device

BOSTON - With a criminal trial against two company executives just concluded, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts on July 22 revealed that medical device maker Acclarent Inc. paid $18 million to settle lawsuits that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs through the off-label marketing of its Stratus nasal device (United States of America, ex rel. Melayna Lokosky v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 11-11217, United States of America, ex rel. WW. Young, III v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 12-12314, United States of America, ex rel. John Doe v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 13-10205, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Partly Grants Cosby's Motion To Stay Insurer's Coverage Dispute

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 18 granted William H. Cosby Jr.'s motion to stay a homeowners and excess insurer's coverage dispute pending resolution of an underlying lawsuit brought by model, actress and TV producer Janice Dickinson but denied the motion to the extent Cosby seeks a stay pending the resolution of a criminal action in Pennsylvania (AIG Property Casualty Co. v. William H. Cosby Jr., et al., No. 15-04842, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - D.C. Circuit Deems DOJ's 'Blue Book' Not Discoverable Under FOIA As Work Product

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A discovery guide created by the U.S. Department of Justice and used by federal prosecutors qualifies as attorney work product, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 19, affirming a trial court's finding that the DOJ did not need to produce the manual in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys, et al., No. 15-5051, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13141).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Panel Says Company Had Cause To Fire, Deny Benefits

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 16 upheld a New York federal judge's ruling that a company had cause to fire two employees who refused to answer questions about their possible involvement in an alleged criminal conspiracy (William W. Gilman, et al. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., et al., No. 15-0603, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10937).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - United States Dismisses Drug Delivery Charges Against FedEx During Bench Trial

SAN FRANCISCO - A criminal trial against FedEx Corp. for allegedly conspiring to deliver controlled substances from illegal Internet pharmacies was dismissed June 17 by the federal government five days into a bench trial (United States of America v. FedEx Corporation, et al., No. 14-cr-380, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Man's Motion To Vacate Sentence For Workers' Compensation Fraud

ABINGDON, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on June 9 denied a man's motion to vacate his 144-month prison sentence for his role in a workers' compensation insurance fraud scheme, holding that his counsel was effective and that the sentence was properly adjusted based on the defendant's criminal history (United States of America v. Carlos Perry, No. 14CR00003, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74977).