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Follow The Rules! Plaintiff’s Claims Dismissed For Failure To Comply With Court Orders (PA)

December 15, 2021

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Vilgosas-et-al.-v.-Janssen-Research-Development-LLC-et-al..pdf">Vilgosas, et al. v. Janssen Research &amp; Development LLC, et al.</a></em>, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims after he failed to comply with the court discovery order. The court reasoned that the plaintiff’s failure to comply with the discovery order impeded the defendants’ ability to defend the case.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">From 2013 to 2014, plaintiff Alfred Vilgosas (“Vilgosas”) suffered complications from the drug prescribed medication Xarelto including internal bleeding. Vilgosas was not the only Xarelto user with complications and by 2019, nearly 2,000 civil claims had been filed in Philadelphia County against Xarelto manufacturer for similar complications. In March 2019, the plaintiffs in all Xarelto claims negotiated a $750 million settlement to resolve all outstanding Xarelto claims. As part of the settlement, the court issued a case management order with several obligations for the plaintiffs.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Vilgosas failed to comply with the discovery order. Janssen filed a notice of deficiencies with the court. Vilgosas then continued to defy the court order when he failed to produce required documents to Janssen at the show cause hearing. The trial court dismissed Vilgosas’ claims. Vilgosas then appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In affirming, Superior Court found Vilgosas’ failure to produce records impeded Janssen’s ability to defend itself. Specifically, Vilgosas failed to produce hospital records that would have had information on his underlying conditions and treatment. This information was necessary for the defense. Further, the court found that Vilgosas’s noncompliance was willful and in bad faith.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to John Lang for his assistance in this article.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact <a href="mailto:tbracken@wcmlaw.com">Thomas Bracken.</a></p>

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