In lawsuits against pharma giant Gilead Sciences, plaintiffs across California allege they suffered ill effects from HIV drugs made and distributed by Gilead that were more harmful derivatives than other drugs the company had created but not sold until its stock of the inferior drugs was exhausted. As reported by the Daily Journal (subscription), attorneys for some of those plaintiffs are asking the judge to switch the case to a venue and location that would be more reachable and meaningful than the current Santa Clara County location. In an earlier tentative ruling, California Superior Court Judge Kenneth R. Freeman proposed that the 19 consolidated personal injury lawsuits be tried in Santa Clara County. Alternative venue suggestions include Alameda, San Francisco and Los Angeles counties.

Judge Freeman granted the prior motion to consolidate the cases Tuesday and said he would take requests for a new venue under consideration.

Lieff Cabraser partner Sarah R. London argued for the consolidated case to be tried in Alameda County. Observing that nearly a third of all the represented cases were pending in Alameda County, London noted that those plaintiffs and their counsel would have more convenient access to the court if the cases were tried in Alameda. She further observed that San Francisco would be a favorable, although secondary location for the people she represented. Santa Clara County, London said, was extremely unfavorable and would be disadvantageous to her plaintiffs. “It’s just really disconnected from what the matters are,” London told the court, saying that HIV-related litigation had a special place in the gay rights movement, which she said Santa Clara County was largely divorced from.

About Sarah London

A member of the CAOC Convention Leadership Committee and a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Ms. London is a determined, skilled, and experienced advocate for the injured, employees, and consumers. She is experienced in all aspects of trial work, from drafting and arguing motions in limine, opposing Daubert challenges to plaintiffs’ experts and deposing defendants’ experts, and serving as lead trial counsel to writing successful post-trial and appellate briefs. Ms. London’s case work involvement includes: the Florida Tobacco litigation, Zofran Infant Injury lawsuits, the Toyota Sudden Acceleration litigation, the Norvir antitrust case, and Pacific Fertility Clinic Egg and Embryo Preservation Failures. A Super Lawyers Rising Star for five consecutive years and 2015 finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California Streetfighter of the Year Award, Sarah has held multiple leadership positions in CAOC.

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