Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Mississippi

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This products liability lawsuit centered on Risperdal. Louise Taylor began suffering psychotic episodes when she was seventy-one years old, in early 1998. From March 1998 to January 2001, Psychiatrist Richard Rhoden prescribed Risperdal to Taylor for the treatment of her recurrent psychotic manifestations. In February 2001, Taylor developed tardive dyskinesia, a syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs. In 2002, Taylor filed a complaint against Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer, seller, and distributer of Risperdal, and its parent company Johnson & Johnson (collectively “Janssen”), claiming that Risperdal caused her to develop tardive dyskinesia. Taylor also named her treating physician, Dr. Richard Rhoden, as a defendant in her complaint. Taylor settled her claims against Dr. Rhoden prior to trial. The case went to trial oin 2014. The jury, in a nine to three decision, found that Taylor was harmed by Risperdal due to: (1) Janssen’s “failure to provide adequate warnings/instructions” and (2) Janssen’s “negligent marketing/misrepresentation.” The jury awarded Taylor $650,000 in actual economic damages and $1.3 million in noneconomic damages, for a total damages award of $1,950,000. On review, the Mississippi Supreme Court held that, as a matter of law, the Risperdal in question contained an adequate warning; the Court reversed and rendered the statutory inadequate warning judgment. Furthermore, the Court held that various errors in the jury instructions required reversal of the plaintiff’s verdict that sounded in negligent misrepresentation, and the Court reversed and remanded the negligent misrepresentation claim. View "Johnson & Johnson, Inc. v. Fortenberry" on Justia Law

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After all defendants to the original complaint filed responsive pleadings in Mary Meeks’s medical malpractice suit, Meeks obtained leave of court and filed a first amended complaint, adding as a defendant the manufacturer of a medical device, Hologic, Inc. A doctor performed an outpatient diagnostic hysteroscopy and an endometrial ablation on Meeks at the Northwest Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale using a Novasure medical device manufactured and sold by Hologic to treat Meeks’s menorrhagia. Meeks did not serve the first amended complaint on Hologic but instead filed a second amended complaint without leave of court or permission from all defendants. Hologic filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Meeks’s claims against Hologic were federally preempted and that Meeks’s claims additionally were barred by the statute of limitations. Because Meeks failed to obtain leave of court or permission from the defendants to file the second complaint, and because the first was never served on Hologic, the Supreme Court found that the statute of limitations had expired against Hologic and that the trial court properly granted Hologic’s motion to dismiss. View "Mary Meeks v. Hologic, Inc." on Justia Law

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Deborah Jackson sued Illinois Central Railroad Company under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) for the wrongful death of her husband, Charles. Jackson alleged that her husband’s death from lung cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working for the railroad. After the close of discovery, Illinois Central filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion to strike Jackson’s expert, Michael Ellenbecker. Later, Illinois Central moved to strike improper evidence from Jackson’s response to the motion for summary judgment. When Jackson attempted to supplement Ellenbecker’s designation at the summary-judgment hearing, Illinois Central moved ore tenus to strike the supplementation. The Circuit Court denied all of Illinois Central’s motions. Illinois Central appealed. After review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that Jackson’s expert designation of Ellenbecker was improper summary-judgment evidence because it was not sworn to upon personal knowledge and constituted inadmissible hearsay. Because the supplemental response was unsworn and never was filed, it also was improper. And, because Jackson could not show a genuine issue of material fact without Ellenbecker’s testimony, the Court reversed the denial of summary judgment and rendered judgment in favor of Illinois Central. View "Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Jackson" on Justia Law