STORY FROM: Drugs & Medical Devices

Pa. Federal Judge Retains Jurisdiction Over Cases Involving Shingles Vaccine Zostavax

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge has refused to send to state court 10 actions involving Merck’s shingles vaccine, finding the plaintiffs fraudulently joined a nondiverse employee of the drug maker in order to defeat subject matter jurisdiction.

In a May 26 order, Judge Harvey Bartle III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agreed with Merck that the plaintiffs have no real intention to prosecute the actions against the employee, and noted that they agreed to dismiss their claims against the employee in another Zostavax action.

Ten plaintiffs from Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Missouri each sued ...

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