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Newman v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. New York

October 3, 2014

IAN NEWMAN, in his capacity as Executor of the estate of BARBARA DAVIDS,
v.
NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORPORATION, Defendant

For the Plaintiff: Bart T. Valad, Esq., John J. Vecchione, Esq., Of Counsel, Valad & Vecchione, PLLC, Fairfax, VA.

For the Plaintiff: Terrence J. Sweeney, Esq., New York, NY.

For the Plaintiff: Demorah N. Misir, Esq., Of Counsel, Lally & Misir, LLP, Mineola, NY.

For the Defendant: Anne Marla Friedman, Esq., Bruce J. Berger, Esq., Jared Wiesner, Esq., Katharine R. Latimer, Esq., Robert E. Johnston, Esq., Of Counsel, Hollingsworth LLP, Washington, D.C.

For the Defendant: Jesse J. Graham, II, Esq., David Richman, Esq., Of Counsel, Rivkin Radler LLP, Uniondale, N.Y.

Page 395

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

On February 1, 2006, Barbara Davids (" Davids" ) initiated this action against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (" Novartis" or the " Defendant" ), alleging that the Defendant's drug Zometa caused her to develop a condition referred to as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (" BRONJ" ). In this regard, Davids brought causes of action for (1) strict products liability; (2) breach of implied warranty; and (3) negligence. On October 4, 2012, a jury trial was commenced and approximately one month later, on November 2, 2012, the jury returned a verdict finding the Defendant liable under all three causes of action and awarding Davids (1) $350,000 in compensatory damages for Davids's injuries and her pain and suffering incurred to the present date; (2) $100,000 in compensatory damages for the Davids's injuries and her pain and suffering to be incurred in the future; and (3)

Page 396

punitive damages in the amount of $10,000,000.

Thereafter, the parties filed a series of post-trial motions, which the Court ruled on in a decision dated October 9, 2013. In that decision, the Court (1) granted the Plaintiff's motion to substitute Barbara Davids's son, Ian Newman, in his capacity as Executor of Davids's estate, as the Plaintiff in this action; (2) denied the Defendant's motion for a mistrial; (3) granted in part and denied in part the Defendant's motion to reduce the punitive damages, in that the Court reduced the punitive damages award to $900,000 and instructed the Plaintiff to file an acceptance of remittitur as to the punitive damages within thirty days of the date of the Court's Order; (4) denied the Plaintiff's motion to apply prejudgment interest to the punitive damages award.

On November 8, 2013, the Plaintiff filed his notice of acceptance of the remittitur. However, before the Clerk of the Court could enter judgment in favor of the Plaintiff against the Defendant for damages in the total sum of $1,350,000, yet another wrinkle surfaced in this case.

In this regard, the Plaintiff has moved for the Court to issue an order, pursuant to New York CPLR § § 5002 and 5004, directing that New York state interest rate of nine percent applies to the entire $1,350,000 award, to run from November 2, 2012, when the verdict was rendered, until the judgment is entered. The Defendant opposes this motion, and argues that prejudgment interest should only be applied to the past compensatory damages ward and only at the federal prejudgment interest rate of 0.13 percent.

The Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the facts in this case and thus need not recount them here. For the reasons that, follow the Court grants in ...


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