West Virginia Record

Monday, October 21, 2019

Federal judge grants motion to transfer case against drug companies to New York

Lawsuits

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 21, 2019


WHEELING — A federal judge granted a motion to transfer venue in a case filed in federal court in Wheeling. The case will now be removed to New York.

Federal Judge John Preston Bailey granted the motion to transfer, noting that it was unopposed by the defendant.

Darlene Johnston, as executor of the estate of Jan Hayslett, and Chad Hayslett filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Wheeling.

The Abbott Laboratories, Burroughs-Wellcome & Co., Carnick Laboratories, Dart Industries, Eli Lilly & Company, Kremers-Urban Co., Lannett Co., McNeilab, Mallinckrodt, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Rowell Laboratories, E.R. Squibb & Sons and The Upjohn Company were all named defendants in the suit.

Jan Hayslett was exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero, which caused her to suffer clear cell adenocarcinoma of the cervix and uterus, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs said DES was portrayed as safe to prevent miscarriages and accidents during pregnancy when in reality, it wasn't.

Johnston ingested DES while pregnant with Jan Hayslett and caused her to suffer serious, permanent and personal injuries, which has precluded Jan Hayslett from having a normal life, the lawsuit said.

The defendants knew or should have known the drug was not safe for the purposes it was marketed and that reckless disregard caused Jan Hayslett injuries, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs said DES was unsafe, defective and inherently dangerous. Neither Jan Hayslett or her mother could have discovered the defects and/or the perceived danger, according to the suit.

The defendants failed to exercise ordinary care in creating, designing, researching, manufacturing, marketing, supplying, promoting, labeling, advertising, packaging, selling, testing, quality assurance, quality control and/or distributing DES into commerce and should have been aware of the high risk of injury when exposed, the suit said.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Harry G. Deitzler of Hill Peterson Carper Bee & Deitzler; and Michael A. London and Virginia E. Anello of Douglas & London.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case No. 5:18-cv-00186

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Wheeling Division

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