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May 27, 2014


DONALD E. WALTER, District Judge.

Before this Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 filed by Defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“GSK”). [Doc. 75]. The motion asserts that this Court should dismiss Plaintiff’s claims because they are barred by the one-year prescriptive period under Louisiana law. Having considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, and the applicable law, this Court concludes that Plaintiff’s claims are prescribed and the motion for summary judgment is therefore GRANTED.


This case arises from alleged injuries suffered by Plaintiff Cinda McLaughlin, a resident of Louisiana, from the ingestion of Paxil and Paxil CR (collectively “Paxil”), a prescription medication manufactured by GSK.1 Plaintiff alleges that she began taking Paxil in 2003 for depression and continued using the medication through March of 2007. In 2007, Plaintiff began using the generic form of Paxil until 2010. Plaintiff alleges that her ingestion of Paxil and the various forms of generic paroxetine caused excess serotonin, which in turn damaged her heart valves and necessitated her 2010 surgery.2 Specifically, Plaintiff underwent surgery to replace two valves in her heart on June 10, 2010. On October 4, 2010, Plaintiff told her physicians that Paxil caused her heart valve damage, which resulted in her surgery.3 On October 22, 2010, Plaintiff’s attorney met with the Plaintiff’s surgeon to discuss various issues, including Plaintiff’s specific use of Paxil.

On June 8, 2012, Plaintiff filed this suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the location where GSK has its principal place of business.4 GSK filed a motion to transfer this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to this Court; the motion was granted on November 20, 2012.5 Plaintiff asserted ten causes of action arising out of her alleged use of Paxil, claiming that her use of Paxil caused her to develop heart valve damage that necessitated replacement of her aortic and mitral valves in June 2010. In short, each cause of action pertains to the allegedly unsafe manner in which Paxil was designed, developed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, promoted, labeled, or represented. On January 6, 2014, this Court granted in part and denied in part GSK’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint, dismissing seven of Plaintiff’s ten claims.6 Plaintiff’s remaining claims in this case include the following product liability claims: construction or composition defect (Count II), inadequate warning (Count III), and breach of express warranty (Count IV).

On March 25, 2014, GSK filed the instant motion for summary judgment. The sole issue presented is whether Plaintiff’s claims are prescribed. Plaintiff opposes this motion by arguing that Plaintiff did not know of her alleged injuries until July 2011 and that this action should be maintained in the interest of justice.7


A. Standard of Law

Summary judgment is proper pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” FED.R.CIV.P. 56; Quality Infusion Care, Inc. v. Health Care Serv. Corp., 628 F.3d 725, 728 (5th Cir.2010). Once the movant produces such evidence, the burden shifts to the respondent to direct the attention of the court to evidence in the record sufficient to establish that there is a genuine issue of material fact requiring a trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The responding party may not rest on mere allegations made in the pleadings as a means of establishing a genuine issue worthy of trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). If no issue of fact is presented then the mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. Before it can find that there are no genuine issues of material fact, however, the court must be satisfied that no reasonable trier of fact could have found for the non-moving party. Id.

B. Plaintiff’s Claims Are Prescribed

This Court has previously determined that Louisiana law governs this case.8 Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, “[d]elictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one year.” …


Because Plaintiff’s claims against GSK have prescribed, GSK’s motion for summary judgment [Doc. 75] is GRANTED.