In 2007, Plaintiffs began filing lawsuits against four pharmaceutical manufacturers and sponsors of gadolinium based contrast agents ("GBCAs") alleging that the GBCAs caused or contributed to cause a rare disease now known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis ("NSF"). Close to 1000 cases were filed in various state and federal courts over a period of four years. About half of the cases filed named our client, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. and/or Bracco Research USA Inc., a sponsor of two GBCAs, as a defendant. Several state Mass Tort actions were formed, including Mass Tort actions in New Jersey, Philadelphia and California. Additionally, a federal Multi-District Litigation was formed in Ohio.
On behalf of our client, we maintained that Bracco’s GBCAs did not cause or contribute to cause NSF and adamantly defended all claims. Early in the litigation, as part of our overall defense strategy, we researched and obtained the best NSF experts in the world on behalf of our client and worked closely with each expert throughout the litigation. We successfully avoided huge discovery costs, costs that the other defendants did not avoid, by successfully convincing the plaintiffs that limited discovery was warranted pertaining to Bracco. Not only was the discovery served on Bracco minimal compared to the massive discovery served on the co-defendants, not one deposition was taken of any Bracco representative or expert.
After four years of aggressively defending Bracco’s GBCAs and maintaining that they were the reasonably safe alternative, Bracco was completely and voluntarily dismissed from each and every case. Other defendants entered into substantial settlements, but our client was dismissed without any payment whatsoever.
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