On January 18, 2007, Madame Justice Macdonald of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified the action Boulanger. v. Johnson & Johnson Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Medical Products Inc./Products Medicaux Johnson & Johnson Inc. and Janssen-Ortho Inc., court file # 00-CV-197409CP as a class action (the "Prepulsid Class Action") and appointed Mrs. Aline Boulanger as the representative plaintiff for following class of persons:
" Class" means all persons in Canada (including their estates), excluding residents of Quebec, who ingested the prescription medicine Prepulsid; and
" Family Class" means spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the Class who, by reason of their relationship with members of the Class are entitled to assert a claim.
Please click here to read Madame Justice Macdonald's Reasons for Decision.
The Press release announcing the certification decision can be found by clicking here.
The defendants thereafter sought to appeal the certification decision. The defendants' motion for leave to appeal was dismissed on May 16, 2007. The defendants also brought a further motion attempting to appeal the decision denying leave to appeal which was dismissed on September 13, 2007.
The Prepulsid Class Action raises allegations of negligence and breach of warranty and seeks damages on behalf of class members against the defendants for certain types of injuries allegedly suffered by class members because of their use of the prescription medicine Prepulsid. Prepulsid was available for sale in Canada between 1990 and August 2000 and was approved for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD), gastroparesis and intestinal pseudo-obstruction. The plaintiff alleges that the injuries at issue are cardiac arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia, cardiac arrest, prolonged QT interval, torsades de pointes, ventricular fibrillation, sudden death and other heart disease.
In certifying this action as a class action, the court has made no determination as to the merits of the representative plaintiff's claims.
If you fall within one of the class definitions set out above, you are automatically a member of the Class or Family Class unless you choose to opt out (see below). While you do not need to do anything further at this stage to participate in this lawsuit, you may wish to obtain legal advice regarding this notice. If you wish to contact class counsel for that purpose (you are not required to do so) class counsel can be reached at:
121 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2K1
Toll Free: 1-800-462-3864
Barristers & Solicitors
Box 96 3005 - 401 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4
Gary R. Will
Tel: (416) 360-1194
Fax: (416) 360-8469
GIRONES & ASSOCIATES
16 Cedar Street South
Timmins, ON P4N 2G4
Tel: (705) 268-4242
Fax: (705) 264-1646
HOW TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE CLASS
Members of the Class who do not wish to participate in the lawsuit must "opt out". Any member of the Class who wishes to opt out of the lawsuit must do so on or before 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2008 by sending a written election signed by the member of the Class stating that he or she opts out of the lawsuit to Rochon Genova LLP at the contact information identified above. If you do not opt out by that date, you will remain a member of the Class and will be bound by any judgment on the common issues. If a member of the Class opts out of the lawsuit then his or her family members will be deemed to have opted out as well, unless the family member has a separate claim as a member of the Class. No person may opt out a patient who is a minor or a mental incompetent, without the permission of the Court after notice to the Ontario Public Trustee and Children's Lawyer as appropriate. If you wish to opt out a minor or mental incompetent patient, please indicate that the patient is a minor or mental incompetent in your written election. Do not opt out if you wish to participate in the Prepulsid Class Action.
Please click here to view the complete Notice of Certification approved by the Court.