Week Ahead in Products Liability: May 24, 2021

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(Reuters) - Here are some upcoming events of interest to the products liability community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, May 24

8:30 a.m. - The first trial is scheduled to begin in litigation against cryopreservation tank manufacturer Chart Industries Inc over the failure of one of its tanks at San Francisco fertility clinic Pacific Fertility Center that resulted in the destruction of thousands of embryos and eggs. The trial will include five plaintiffs out of more than 200 patients who have brought claims over the 2018 tank failure before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco. Pacific Fertility and its parent company Prelude Fertility Inc previously won motions to send the claims to arbitration, leaving Chart as the only defendant in court.

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For the plaintiffs: Dena Sharp of Girard Sharp, Sarah London of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Amy Zeman of Gibbs Law Group and others. For Chart: Kevin Ringel Swanson, Martin & Bell, Marc Cowden of Sheuerman, Martini, Tabari, Zenere & Garvin and others.

Thursday, May 27

11 a.m. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hear arguments on motions to consolidate various multidistrict litigations, including a motion by Florida health care company Mednax Services Inc, represented by Kristine Brown of Alston & Bird, to consolidate claims brought against it over a data breach in the Southern District of Florida (MDL No. 2994); a motion by consulting firm McKinsey & Co, represented by James Bernard of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, to consolidate claims accusing it of fueling the nationwide opioid epidemic in the Southern District of New York (MRL No. 2996); a motion by plaintiffs suing baby food makers Beech-Nut Nutrition Co, Gerber Product Co and others over alleged heavy metal contamination, represented by Douglas McNamara of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, to consolidate claims in the Eastern District of New York; a motion by plaintiffs suing bankrupt drugmaker Mallinckrodt PLC and Express Scripts Inc for alleged price fixing involving Mallinckrodt's infant seizure drug Acthar, represented by Donald Haviland of Haviland Hughes, to consolidate claims in the Northern District of Illinois (MDL No. 2999); a motion by plaintiffs accusing Google of selling addictive casino-type games, represented by Dargan Ware of Davis Norris, to consolidate claims in the Northern District of California (MDL No. 3001); and a motion by a plaintiff suing Chevron USA Inc and Syngenta AG alleging that weedkiller paraquat causes Parkinson's Disease, represented by Ann Saucer of Fears Nachawati, to consolidate claims in the Northern District of California (MDL No. 3004).

Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Products Liability? Contact Brendan Pierson at

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