State Court Permitted to Hear Out-of-State Plavix Suits, California High Court Says

September 1, 2016

The California Supreme Court ruled that state courts have jurisdiction to hear cases filed by out-of-state residents, clearing the path for an amended suit against Bristol-Myers Squibb that contends the company’s blood thinner Plavix led to patient injuries.

Although Bristol-Myers’ business endeavors in California did not impose general jurisdiction in the case, the company’s operations in that state warrant the San Francisco Superior Court’s specific jurisdiction to preside over the case, which consolidates 592 nonresident complaints.

The court reasoned that the amended suit—which includes 86 plaintiffs from California, 92 from Texas, 71 from Ohio, and many others—conserves resources and improves the trial efficiency.

Conducting separate trials for each complaint that centers on patient adverse reactions would lead to duplication of efforts on behalf of the individual plaintiffs, the court added.

The amended suits allege the drug caused patient bleeding, heart attacks, strokes and death. The company misrepresented the cardiovascular benefits of the Plavix as well, according to the case.

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