The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe
THIS DOCUMENT APPLIES TO:
Amjad Faheem v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC Marvin Rainey v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC
Plaintiffs in these cases filed suit alleging that they suffered heart-related injuries caused by their ingestion of the drug Avandia. Defendant, GlaxoSmithKline, LLC ("GSK"), has filed motions for summary judgment, contending that Plaintiffs' claims are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. *fn1 Plaintiffs, through the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee ("PSC"), oppose the motions and have moved for additional discovery pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d). *fn2
Plaintiff Marvin Rainey, a resident of Tennessee, began using Avandia in 1999 and suffered a heart attack in 2000; Plaintiff Amjad Faheem, a resident of Kentucky, began using Avandia in 2001 and suffered a heart attack in 2004. Both Plaintiffs filed suit in 2011, alleging that their use of Avandia caused their injuries. Avandia, the brand name for rosiglitazone maleate, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999 and is manufactured by Defendant GSK. Avandia is a member of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones ("TZDs"), used to manage non-insulin-dependent diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes.
Defendant GSK seeks summary judgment on the statue of limitations as to these two Plaintiffs, but also seeks significantly broader relief. Specifically, GSK seeks to establish a "bar date," i.e., the date by which any plaintiffs may be presumed as a matter of law to have been on notice of a possible link between Avandia and their injuries, and therefore to pursue any tort claims. GSK argues that for plaintiffs alleging heart-related injuries from use of Avandia, the bar date is November 14, 2007.
Upon motion of a party, summary judgment is appropriate if "the
materials in the record" show "that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law." *fn3 Summary judgment may be granted
only if the moving party persuades the district court that "there
exists no genuine issue of material fact that would permit a
reasonable jury to find for the nonmoving party." *fn4
A fact is "material" if it could affect the outcome of
the suit, given the applicable substantive law. *fn5
A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" if the
evidence presented "is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party." *fn6
In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court "must view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," and make every reasonable inference in that party's favor. *fn7
Further, a court may not weigh the evidence or make credibility
determinations. *fn8 Nevertheless, the party
opposing summary judgment must support each essential element of the
opposition with concrete evidence in the record. *fn9
"If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted."
*fn10 This requirement upholds the "underlying
purpose of summary judgment [which] is to avoid a pointless trial in
cases where it is unnecessary and would only cause delay and
expense." *fn11 Therefore, if, after making
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, the court
determines that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact,
summary judgment is appropriate. *fn12
Plaintiffs have filed a motion for additional discovery pursuant to Rule 56(d), which is "the proper recourse of a party faced with a motion for summary judgment who believes that additional discovery is necessary before he can adequately respond to that motion." *fn13 A properly filed motion must be accompanied by "a supporting affidavit detailing what particular information is sought; how, ...