Dechert Obtains Trial Win for AstraZeneca in Seroquel Case

March 18, 2010

A trial team from international law firm Dechert LLP obtained a favorable ruling for AstraZeneca as a New Jersey State jury ruled today that the global pharmaceutical company did not fail to warn the plaintiff’s treating doctors. Dechert partner Diane Sullivan served as first chair in the trial with primary assistance from Dechert partners Steven Weisburd, John Sullivan, and Will Sasche, and Robert “Mike” Brock of Covington Burling LLP.

The case, Baker v. AstraZeneca, was the first Seroquel® product liability case to go to trial. The previous nine cases prepared for trial have been dismissed by both federal and state court judges, and approximately 2,600 additional cases have been abandoned by the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Dechert is one of several law firms representing AstraZeneca LP in personal-injury litigation involving Seroquel, an atypical antipsychotic medication approved by the FDA for treating serious mental illnesses. Plaintiffs assert a series of claims (primarily failure-to-warn claims) based on their core allegation that taking Seroquel caused plaintiffs to get diabetes. The majority of cases have been coordinated for pre-trial purposes in an MDL created by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. In addition, there are large groups of cases pending in coordinated state-court proceedings in Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

Prior to the Baker case, every other case set for trial, including plaintiff counsel’s hand-picked “best cases,” was resolved in AstraZeneca’s favor on Daubert motions and accompanying summary judgment motions -- with Dechert lawyers leading the joint-defense effort for AstraZeneca in its meritorious legal motion practice.

Other members of the Dechert trial team included Kirstin Mazzeo, Adam Tolin, Burt Snell, and Jaimee Farrer.

Subscribe to Dechert Updates