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UnitedHealth Group To Receive Plaintiff List In GSK Drug Litigation

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Philidelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Mark. I Bernstein has ruled on an issue of first impression, giving UnitedHealth Group entitlement to the names and information of it’s insureds who have sued or settled with the drug maker for Avandia or Paxil related injuries.

As reported by The Legal Intelligencer,  the opinion said that “UnitedHealth Group plans to assert subrogation claims against drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline by stepping into the shoes of its insureds who took GSK’s Paxil and Avandia drugs and suing GSK over the alleged injuries its insureds experienced by taking those drugs.”

Judge Bernstein said that “Defendants, as the alleged tortfeasors, are not justified in withholding an insured’s identity from its insurer that wants to sue on his or her behalf, even if defendants and the insured have signed a confidentiality agreement.” He also said that, “an insured may have taken Avandia or Paxil prior to enrollment in one of plaintiff’s health plans and then suffered the drug’s ill effects after enrollment, leaving plaintiff without a way to connect the drugs to its insured’s treatment. Likewise, plaintiff could not necessarily connect the treatment of an insured child with defendant’s drugs because it was the mother, not the child, who ingested the drugs.”

Bernstein also clarified that UnitedHealth Group was not entitled to information of plaintiffs that it had never insured as a way to build a class action lawsuit.

GSK moved to remove the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. GSK filed  the notice of removal June 16, the same day Judge Bernstein rendered his opinion.
 disclaimer: This article: UnitedHealth Group To Receive Plaintiff List In GSK Drug Litigation was posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at 8:47 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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