Andrea Bierstein has obtained a favorable ruling on behalf of 60 diabetes patients who were harmed by Avandia. Simmons Hanly Conroy represents individuals who took Avandia for their condition only to suffer heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure and other injuries. Their cases were assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to United States District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, the maker of Avandia, asked Judge Rufe to dismiss the claims of 60 plaintiffs based on the Statute of Limitations. Under Pennsylvania law, a two-year period of limitations begins to run when a plaintiff knows or reasonably should know that she has been injured and that her injury has been caused by another party’s conduct. GlaxoSmithKline argued that the plaintiffs should have known that Avandia was responsible for their injuries by 2007. But Andrea Bierstein argued that the plaintiffs could not be charged with such knowledge until 2010. On September 7, 2011, Judge Rufe issued a decision agreeing with Ms. Bierstein and refusing to dismiss the cases. The Judge ruled that the issue of knowledge was a factual issue that will have to be decided by the jury at trial. Because the ruling is based on general principles of law rather than on the circumstances specific to individual plaintiffs, it is expected to benefit not only the 60 individuals involved but thousands of other individuals who were harmed by dangerous and defective products.
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