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HIV/AIDS Drug Litigation Moves Forward

In May 2018, a class action, as well as multiple personal injury cases, were filed against Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead), for claims surrounding the promotion of the manufacturer’s TDF HIV/AIDs drugs.

The allegations included:

  • Gilead’s marketing and distribution of the TDF drugs, when a safer alternative (TAF) was known;
  • Failure to adequately warn of the potential risks; and,
  • Misrepresentation of the drugs’ safety and efficacy.

Currently, Plaintiffs allege kidney and bone injuries as a result of their use of the TDF drugs.

The lawsuits also asserted that Gilead purposely suppressed the marketing and distribution of the safer alternative, TAF, in order to benefit from the patent on its TDF drugs.

As previously discussed, the TDF drugs include: Truvada, Atripla, Complera, Stribild, and Viread.

Following the May 2018 filings, Gilead filed a demurrer, seeking to dismiss all of plaintiffs’ legal theories. Recently, in February 2019, a California court denied Gilead’s request. The held that plaintiffs may proceed on all of their tort claims, except for strict liability. This was a big win for plaintiffs.

Based on the court’s ruling, we expect to see an increase in the number of cases being filed from around the country.



About this Author

Stefanie Colella Walsh, Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorney, Stark Law Firm

Stefanie Colella-Walsh is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Litigation, Insurance Coverage & Liability, Intellectual Property and Mass Torts Groups where she concentrates her practice in complex litigation with a focus in mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation. She also handles litigation related to nursing home negligence and abuse claims, elder abuse, and assisted living facility litigation.

Recently, Ms. Colella-Walsh was a member of the national trial team involved the first trial in the country of a TVT-Secur transvaginal...

Martin P. Schrama, Stark Law, Intellectual Property and Litigation Law Attorney

Martin P. Schrama is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark's Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort, Intellectual Property and Green Litigation Groups. Mr. Schrama has extensive experience litigating on both the trial and appellate levels of the federal and state courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as numerous other jurisdictions throughout the nation in a pro hac vice capacity. This experience also extends to regular practice before AAA, JAMS and various other alternate dispute resolution fora.

The primary focus of Mr. Schrama’s practice is complex civil litigation matters, with a concentration in mass tort/class action prosecution and defense, and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Schrama is currently co-lead trial counsel representing numerous plaintiffs in the mass tort environmental contamination case of In Re Bristol-Myers Squibb Environmental Contamination Litigation, Case No. 281. Mr. Schrama is also currently involved in representing numerous plaintiffs in mass tort pharmaceutical cases pending in the New Jersey Superior Court case of In Re Yaz®, Yasmin®, and Ocella® Litigation, Case No. 287; In Re Nuvaring® Litigation, Case No. 284; and In Re Depuy ASR® Hip Implants Litigation, Case No. 293. Mr. Schrama frequently writes about timely legal and legislative developments impacting plaintiffs in mass tort and product liability actions for Stark & Stark's Mass Tort Law Blog.