Sunday, October 19, 2014

Very Little Is Actually New, In Merck's Propecia® MDL Litigation: Update, Per Anon. Commenters' Questions

An erstwhile but anonymous commenter has asked if much had happened in this finasteride/Proscar®/Propecia® federal MDL -- since the August 20, 2014 status hearing.

In a word. . . no. There is, however, an ongoing skirmish -- over how many attachments to its emails Merck may avoid disclosing -- to the plaintiffs' lawyers. The fight is over whether some, none or all of them are attorney client privileged communicaitons -- here's a bit of that last filing -- from October 9, 2014:

. . . .We [plaintiffs' lawyers] have reviewed Merck’s new privilege log. Of the 1,800 e-mails originally withheld but neither authored nor received by a lawyer, Merck has produced all but 162. Accordingly, Plaintiffs withdraw their challenge to the assertion of privilege on those 1,800 e-mails.

However, Merck claimed attorney-client privilege on 1,191 attachments. No lawyer authored 586 of those documents, although a lawyer received or was copied on some of them. Of the documents received by a lawyer, none appear to be requests for legal advice. We respectfully renew our challenge to those 586 documents being withheld as privileged (see attached challenge log).

We believe that an in camera inspection of between sixty and one hundred of those attachments is warranted to confirm or deny Merck’s assertions. . . .

SO. . . there is a quite long road ahead, yet here, I'm afraid (at least a long road until checks are cut by Merck -- if ever they are). Just for what it is worth.

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