AstraZeneca vindicated in Seroquel court decision

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The 11th Circuit Appellate Court has upheld a lower court decision to grant AstraZeneca's summary judgment and dismiss the first product liability case that had been prepared for trial in the quetiapine (Seroquel) federal Multi-District Litigation.

In January 2009, District Judge Anne Conway granted AstraZeneca's motion for summary judgment in the case in finding that the plaintiff's expert failed to prove—in a scientifically reliable and valid way—that taking the bipolar drug Seroquel caused plaintiff's injury, according to the London-based AstraZeneca. In that suit, plaintiff Linda Guinn had alleged that Seroquel had caused her diabetes.

"The appeals court decision echoes earlier federal and state court opinions that found Seroquel could not be proven to be responsible for plaintiffs' alleged injuries. We intend to continue to defend ourselves against these claims that plaintiffs' lawyers have been repeatedly unable to prove in multiple courts across the country," said AstraZeneca’s spokesman Tony Jewell.

The company noted that judges at both the federal and state levels have found that in the cases being prepared for trial, plaintiffs lack sufficient, admissible evidence to prove their claims that Seroquel caused their alleged injuries. AstraZeneca presented this timeline of Seroquel events:

  • On Jan. 30, 2009, and Feb. 6, 2009, Judge Anne Conway in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted AstraZeneca's motions for summary judgment and dismissed the first two product liability cases pending in the Seroquel federal multi-district litigation, including the case selected by plaintiffs' attorneys as the first to be tried.
  • On May 26, 2009, Judge Joseph Slights granted AstraZeneca's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the next case selected by plaintiffs' attorneys for trial in Delaware (Scaife vs. AstraZeneca).
  • On June 10, 2009, soon after the court released the written opinion in the Scaife case, AstraZeneca agreed to plaintiffs' lawyers' request to voluntarily dismiss the next Delaware case being prepared for trial (Hebert vs. AstraZeneca).
  • On June 30, 2009, AstraZeneca was informed that plaintiffs' lawyers in the Seroquel product liability litigation have voluntarily dismissed the next two cases that were set for November trials in the Superior Court of Delaware.
  • On Jan. 7, 2010, Judge Joseph R. Slights III in the Superior Court of Delaware granted AstraZeneca's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the next two cases scheduled for trial. (Hopkins vs. AstraZeneca) and (Jones vs. AstraZeneca).
  • On Feb. 5, 2010, Judge Jessica R. Mayer in N.J. state court granted AstraZeneca's Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed one of the first New Jersey cases scheduled for trial (Tate vs. AstraZeneca)
  • On March 18, 2010, a jury in a N.J. state court ruled in favor of AstraZeneca by rejecting a Louisiana plaintiff's claims that Seroquel caused his alleged injuries. The case, Baker versus AstraZeneca, was the first product liability case to go to trial.