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Cases & Deals

March 3, 2015

Fifth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Dismissal on Statute of Limitations


In a case involving the antidepressant drug Paxil®, King & Spalding obtained a Fifth Circuit appellate win for its long-time client GlaxoSmithKline, affirming an earlier summary judgment ruling on statute of limitations grounds.  The district court’s ruling was based largely on the strength of medical records documenting plaintiff’s belief, years before she filed suit, that her heart valve damage had been caused by Paxil.  McLaughlin v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Case No. 3:12-CV-02946 (W.D. La.). 

In her appeal, Plaintiff argued that the district court had misapplied Louisiana’s constructive knowledge standard and claimed that the prescriptive period on her claims did not begin to run until publication of a particular scientific study in 2011.  In affirming the trial court, the Fifth Circuit relied not only on plaintiff’s medical records but also on her retention of counsel, which the court agreed demonstrated sufficient notice of plaintiff’s claims to trigger her prescriptive period.