The testosterone lawsuit are continuing to heat up. There are already over 1,100 cases in litigation in the MDL against low-T manufacturers as of February, 2015. The vast majority of these lawsuits are filed against AbbVie involving Androgel lawsuits.Who Is AbbVie?
AbbVie is a brand new company that was birthed in 2011 when Abbott Laboratories decided to split into two companies. Abbott kept the venerated name and retained all of the medical devices and medical testing products.
The other was named AbbVie which focused on pharmaceuticals. AbbVie took with them big selling products such as Tricor, Niaspan, Humira, and Androgel.
AbbVie also took with them the potential costs of any litigation against Androgel. Obviously, this is becoming a bigger and bigger deal as these lawsuits claim to have over 700 Androgel related claims.What Are the Androgel Lawsuits About?
The lawsuits against AbbVie involving Androgel are based on a single premise: Abbott/AbbVie knew or should have known that this testosterone caused an increased risk of strokes, heart attack, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis in patients. No one has been seriously arguing that there should be a recall of Androgel. This risks might be worth it for some patients in certain situations.
But we are saying -- and these lawsuits are saying -- that Abbott/AbbVie had a legal and moral duty to be issuing a loud and clear warning to doctors and patients that these risks were present.
This duty to warn is even more pronounced with therapy like Androgel. Why? Most people taking low-T therapies do not have an overwhelming medical need. They are taking it for a boost. If you are let's say a 50 year-old man, why not try to cheat aging by getting a testosterone boost. Which is exactly what men thought they were doing, getting a relatively risk free dose of vitality. But for far too many men, what they have gotten is strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiac problems.Status of the Testosterone Lawsuits
The overwhelming majority of lawsuits against AbbVie involving Androgel are pending in federal court. Typically what happens in most garden variety product liability lawsuits filed against an out-of-state drug maker is that the claims are filed in federal court as opposed to state court because of something our Founding Fathers came up with called diversity jurisdiction. Because the corporation is likely to not be a "citizen" -- if you can call a corporation that and our courts do - of the state you are in, then the drug company can take the case out of state court and into federal court. Big companies routinely do this because they think, with some justifications, that the bars to climb to bring a lawsuit against a drug maker are higher in federal court.Consolidation in the MDL Class Action
There are over 1,100 testosterone therapy cases that have been filed in federal court. One path to these cases would be to treat each of these as individual cases that would go thought pre-trial discovery -- like depositions, interrogatories, and document discovery -- and then precede to trial.
The problem with that is inefficiency for everyone. The AbbVie and Abbott employees, for example, would need to be deposed 1,000 different times. The cost and resources on both sides would be overwhelming.So what the courts have done is made the testosterone litigation into an MDL class action.
In these cases, all of the cases filed throughout the country have been consolidated in Illinois under U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly. These include not just the Androgel lawsuits but also claims involving other low T therapies such as Axiron, Androderm, Testim, and Depo-Testosterone.
All of the common core discovery -- those issues that are central to all of the claims -- will be conducted first. What are the victims required to do at this stage? Nothing except filling out a little bit of paperwork called a fact sheet.
The hope, which is often the case in many mass tort cases, is that this is all the great majority of victims will even need to do because these cases will reach a settlement long before anything else is required of them.Bellwether Trials
Once all of that work to learn more about what these drug companies did with these products and what they knew has been done, the court order some bellwether trials. A bellwether trial is to give the parties a real idea of what the cases are worth.
When all is said and done, the value of the case is how much you can get in a settlement or how much a jury will give you. To facilitate a global settlement of all or almost all of the cases, the MDL judge will often preside over a few trials so that both parties get a clear picture of how a jury is going to view these cases. Sometimes, a drug maker has to get figuratively punched in the mouth by a jury a few times to admit the cases have value.
In the testosterone litigation, Judge Kennelly has ordered a series of six Androgel trials to go virtually back-to-back. When are these trials? If you are looking for a quick settlement in these cases, that is where the problem lies. These trials are not set to being until October 2016.
There are a lot of great things about getting your case in a class action type group like the MDL in these cases. The downside is this is not the venue for fast settlements.Getting a Lawyer for Your Case
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after the use of one or more of these products, we want to know about it. Contact us at 1.800.553.8082 or online here. Let us talk to you about your options and see if you are entitled to compensation.