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Week Ahead in Health: July 12, 2021

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(Reuters) - Here are some upcoming events of interest to the health community.

Monday, July 12

9 a.m. - Trial is scheduled to begin in the 20th Judicial Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois in a lawsuit brought by the sister of a woman who died from ovarian cancer against companies including Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the company's talc caused the cancer. It is the first talc trial scheduled following more than a year of court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case is Cadagin v. Johnson & Johnson et al, 20th Judicial Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, No. 18-L-572. For plaintiff Colleen Cadagin: Allen Smith of Smith Law. For J&J: Allison Brown of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

9 a.m. - A hearing is scheduled before U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles on the approval of a proposed settlement in which University of California, Los Angeles would pay about $73 million to compensate patients who were sexually abused by James Heaps, an OB-GYN who was formerly employed by UCLA Health. Some plaintiffs have opted out of the deal, saying it does not provide sufficient compensation.

The case is A.B. et al v. The Regents of the University of California et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California et al, No. 20-cv-09555. For the class: Daniel Girard of Girard Sharp. For UCLA: Debra Wong Yang of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher.

Tuesday, July 13

11 a.m. – Missouri's highest court will hear arguments in a case brought by a group of Medicaid patients seeking to compel the state to fund a Medicaid expansion approved by voters in a ballot initiative last year. The Republican-controlled state legislature did not allocate any funds for the expansion, and a lower court judge ruled that it cannot be implemented without funding from the legislature.

The case is Doyle et al v. Tidball et al, Supreme Court of Missouri, No. SC99185. For petitioners: Charles Hatfield and Alixandra Cosette of Stinson; Lowell Pearson, R. Ryan Harding and Michael Martinich-Sauter of Husch Blackwell; Joel Ferber of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri; Paul Martin, Elkin Kistner, Sean Elam and William Kistner of Kistner, Hamilton, Elam & Martin. For the state: D. John Sauer and Jesus Osete of the Office of the Attorney General.

Thursday, July 15

1 p.m. - A hearing is scheduled before Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in West Palm Beach, Florida, via Zoom, in multidistrict litigation over recalled heartburn drug Zantac, which plaintiffs say increases cancer risk. The hearing will focus on production of records by defendants Boehringer Ingelheim and GlaxoSmithKline, including GSK's human clinical trial records.

The case is In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 9:20-md-02924. For the plaintiffs: Tracy Finken of Anapol Weiss; Robert Gilbert of Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert; Michael McGlamry of Pope McGlamry; and Adam Pulaski of Pulaski Kherkher. For GlaxoSmithKline: Mark Cheffo of Dechert. For Boehringer Ingelheim: Andrew Bayman of King & Spalding.

Friday, July 16

1 p.m. - A case management conference is scheduled before U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco in multidistrict litigation in which plaintiffs are seeking to hold e-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc and its largest shareholder tobacco giant Altria Group, along with their executives and directors, liable for fueling an addiction epidemic. More than 2,000 cases have been consolidated in the litigation, and several have been chosen for bellwether trials. The conference will address motions by Juul to dismiss some actions for failure to submit discovery.

The case is In re Juul Labs Inc, Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 19-md-02913. For plaintiffs: Sarah London of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Dena Sharp of Girard Sharp, Dean Kawamoto of Keller Rohrback and Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg. For Juul: Renee Smith of Kirkland & Ellis.

Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Health? Contact Brendan Pierson at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com

Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health care law. He can be reached at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com.

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