Key Civil Trials To Watch As Courts Shut Down By Coronavirus Get Back To Business

Posted by David Siegel on Apr 6, 2020 3:38:55 PM


The prolonged shutdown of court systems nationwide by the Coronavirus pandemic resulted in the delay of numerous civil trials that Courtroom View Network planned or hoped to webcast over these past and coming weeks.

While the duration of the crisis remains unknown, parties that were just recently ready for trial will surely look to get in front of a jury as quickly as possible when reporting for jury duty becomes a part of normal life again.

Here is a look at some of the more closely-watched cases CVN tracked before the world got turned upside down. Don’t forget that even though current trials are on pause, you can still get access to hundreds of gavel-to-gavel trials with a subscription to CVN’s online video library.

First opioid jury trial in New York

Originally set for March 30 in Suffolk County, Long Island, this case brought by the New York Attorney General would have been the first civil jury trial seeking to hold drug manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Teva and others responsible for their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Another trial in a case brought by the Oklahoma AG took place last year, resulting in a $465 million judgment (and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN), but that trial took place without a jury.

The case is captioned In re: Opioid Litigation, case number 400000/2017, in Suffolk County Supreme Court.

First DePuy/J&J metal hip implant trial in CA since 2013

A trial set for late March in Orange County, California would have been the first trial in the state involving an allegedly defective metal hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Depuy Orthopedics since an initial bellwether trial in 2013.

CVN filmed the 2013 trial, which resulted in an $8.3 million verdict in Los Angeles County. 

The Orange County case is captioned James Pool v. Johnson & Johnson, case number 2019-01083086.

$1 billion Vioxx false marketing trial in Utah

You may have thought litigation involving Merck’s long-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx was a thing of the past, but one lone holdout false marketing case brought by the State of Utah had been quietly plodding along over the years with a trial date set for mid-April.

While a delay will increase the potential for an eventual settlement, Utah retained the powerhouse Lanier Law Firm and damages could potentially approach $1 billion, making any rescheduled trial date of real interest whenever that happens.

The case is captioned The State of Utah v. Merck & Co Inc., case number 060907140 in the 3rd Judicial District of Salt Lake County.

Hawaii’s Plavix lawsuit against Bristol-Myers

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. faced a trial in late April in a lawsuit brought by the Hawaii Attorney General accusing the drug company of failing to disclose the drug Plavix, a popular blood thinner, was ineffective for 30 percent of the state’s population consisting of Pacific-Islanders and East Asians.

No new date is currently set for what would have been a first-of-its-kind trial.

The case is captioned Hawaii v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., case number 1CC141000708 in Hawaii’s 1st Circuit Court.

J&J cosmetic talc trials

Johnson & Johnson faced a flurry of cosmetic talc trials this spring across the country.

Of the most interest was a trial that would have been the first in Illinois involving the company’s talc products (Cardigan v. Johnson & Johnson, St. Clair County).

Two other cases in Los Angeles had trial dates set for late March, along with another case set for trial in South Carolina state court.

Know about any other canceled civil trials we should be keeping an eye on for a new date? Please let us know, and stay safe.

E-mail David Siegel at

Topics: Products Liability, Pharmaceutical, California, Talc