On March 9, attorneys who are currently involved in in multidistrict litigation over alleged side effects of blood pressure drug Benicar that include gastrointestinal complications and the defense of drug maker Daiichi Sankyo became embroiled in a battle over a motion filed by the defense to restrict what it calls “woodshedding” of the treating physicians of plaintiffs in the case.
In legal jargon, “woodshedding” refers to when lawyers attempt to prepare or rehearse with a witness in a case in order to guide their testimony.
Attorneys for the defendant in the case, Daiichi Sankyo, makers of Benicar, are currently seeking an order which would limit ex parte contact between legal counsel for the defendants in the case and physicians. That is something that plaintiffs say is both unwarranted and unenforceable.
In addition to this request, counsel for the drug maker has also asked for the court’s permission to hire a “reasonable number” of doctors who treated patients with the drug to be used as consulting or testifying experts for the defense. Lawyers for plaintiffs are opposed to both motions.
The motion on behalf of Daiichi Sankyo is seeking to restrict plaintiffs’ counsel from having ex parte discussions with plaintiffs’ doctors regarding liability issues such as defendants’ conduct, product warnings, and documents that were produced by Daiichi Sankyo. The proposed order would not prevent counsel for the plaintiffs from discussing with doctors about their treatment of individual plaintiffs according to the court documents.
Counsel for the defendants also claim that allowing attorneys for the plaintiffs having such access to physicians who treated plaintiffs and allowing them to discuss the documents in the case, “awards the plaintiffs’ counsel a unique and unfair opportunity to sway the perspectives and testimony of key witnesses.” Also of concern to the defendants in the case is the adverse effect this might otherwise prescribe Benicar, which is still on the market, for patients. Attorneys for the defense assert that it could present to those treating physicians, “an unrefuted advocacy presentation of the evidence, it could unfairly influence the doctor’s risk-benefit assessment of an FDA-approved medicine that he/she is currently using successfully to treat patients.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs also object to the use of the term “woodshedding”. In their submitted brief they said such wording implies that such a thing would happen in cases. Also at issue is the request by the defendants to hire plaintiff’s physicians as expert witnesses “undermines the inherent level of trust and confidence in the patient/physician relationship and risks unauthorized disclosures of confidential patient information.”
Counsel for the plaintiffs is concerned that granting the motions would cause serious problems in the case.
Currently, there are more than 1,000 lawsuits that have been filed by patients prescribed Benicar and their families for adverse side effects. If you or a loved one love has experienced complications after being prescribed Benicar, you could be entitled to compensation for any medical or hospital bills, ongoing medical care as well as time lost from being off the job, pain and suffering and even wrongful death.
If this describes your case, then contact the “Strong Arm Attorney” in Atlanta, John Foy & Associates, today to schedule a confidential no obligation consultation regarding your Benicar lawsuit. You can reach us at (404) 800-4635 to schedule your free consultation.