Recently, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation overruled opposition from Pfizer, Inc. to the consolidation of all pending testosterone therapy lawsuits in a single adjudication venue. The June 6, 2014 order entered In Re: AndroGel Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 36 order applies notwithstanding manufacturer or brand name of respective defendants.
Consolidated Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits
Testim manufacturer Auxilium Pharmaceuticals was one of two defenders that opposed combined testosterone suits. Pfizer, Inc. also formally stated its objection to single multi-district litigation of all pending testosterone therapy damage claims.
In late April, Pfizer’s attorneys filed a written memorandum of law in opposition to proposed MDL that expressed strong belief that most pretrial proceedings “will not overlap with … cases against other [manufacturers] to … near the degree suggested” by litigants who have moved for consolidation.
Details of Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits
A common theme alleged in complaints filed by every plaintiff is that defendants over promoted testosterone replacement products to cause users to believe that many generalized symptoms such as lethargy were caused by low testosterone levels. However, Pfizer has argued that their cases are different from the other lawsuits, and should not be included in the MDL.
Federal MDL Panel Not Persuaded By Pfizer’s Claims
The panel was “sympathetic” to Pfizer’s concerns, the written opinion expressed confidence “that any issues involving … different products and defendants can be accommodated … in a manner that guarantees the just and efficient resolution of all cases.”
Its apparent underlying rationale was broad discretion of presiding transferee courts to define MDL parameters and determine if releasing any claim involving any particular product is appropriate with minimal delay.”
Thus, the MDL Panel deemed “The Northern District of Illinois an appropriate transferee district that provides a convenient and accessible forum for actions filed throughout the country regarding products sold nationwide.”
MDL Consolidation May Favor Plaintiffs in Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits
In addition to over promotion of products suspected of causing adverse side effects, a common claim asserted by plaintiffs are personal injuries and wrongful death sustained from heightened risk of heart attacks, strokes and other serious side effects without prior warning by manufacturers of testosterone supplement products.
When a large number of lawsuits filed against multiple large companies for the same or similar claims are heard in one court, individual plaintiffs may have a better chance of obtaining fair compensation for damages. Class action or multidistrict litigation can increase the efficiency of court proceedings. To learn more about the difference between multidistrict litigation (MDL) and class action lawsuits, click here.
If you or a loved one used any testosterone therapy, no matter the type or brand, and later suffered injury such as a heart attack, contact Attorney Group today. We are here to help you understand what these proceedings could mean for you in your particular situation, and what your legal options are. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with a local affiliated attorney. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.