A federal judge dismissed two co-defendants from the Androderm testosterone products liability MDL last week. One, the parent company of the other Actavis defendants, was dismissed for having no actionable role in the Androderm issue. The other, Watson Laboratories, Inc., a Nevada Corporation, was dismissed because it was named in error. Its name is virtually identical to that of the properly named co-defendant, Watson Laboratories, Inc. a DELAWARE Corporation. Watson Delaware is now called Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc.
Late last week, the parties in a huge testosterone replacement products liability multi-district litigation (MDL) met to discuss the matter of two co-defendants, Watson Laboratories, Inc., a Nevada Corporation and Actavis plc (an Irish company). Upon discussion and agreement, a federal judge dismissed wrongly joined defendants from Actavis Androderm MDL.
In a case of mistaken identities the likes of which would make a great Hollywood film, Watson Labs, Nevada was joined as a co-defendant in the MDL. Fortunately for Watson Nevada, it had absolutely nothing to do with the Androderm product! The properly joined co-defendant is a company called Watson Laboratories, Inc., a Delaware Corporation (now known as Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc.).
Watson Nevada believed that the only reason it was named as a co-defendant is the similarity of its name to the proper co-defendant in the MDL. Apparently, the parties and federal judge Matthew F. Kennelly agreed and Watson Nevada was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that it could be rejoined at a later date if circumstances warranted such action. It’s not only doubtful that this would happen, but the remaining defendants agreed not to do so in any action pertaining to Androderm.
Actavis plc received similar treatment for a different reason. While Actavis plc is the parent company of the properly named Actavis defendant companies, it had no role in the Androderm product. Judge Kennelly dismissed Actavis plc without prejudice and the remaining Actavis defendants came to the same non-joinder agreement made with Watson Nevada.
That leaves four Actavis co-defendants in the game: Actavis, Inc., Actavis Pharma, Inc., Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc. (the former Watson Delaware) and Anda, Inc., which is a pass-through distributor of the Androderm product.
All four co-defendants agree that each has the ability to pay reasonably foreseeable judgments that may be entered as a result of the MDL. They also assert that these currently available funds will remain with each co-defendant.
As a result of Judge Kennelly’s order, an Amended Master Complaint and Amended Short Form Complaint removing the two dismissed co-defendants must be filed within fifteen days of the order.
The case is:
In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, case #1:14-CV-01748, MDL #2545.