Invokana Cases Consolidated in MDL

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

The Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation has transferred all existing Invokana (canagliflozin) and Invokamet (canagliflozin/metformin) cases alleging ketoacidosis, kidney disease and other serious injuries filed in federal courts to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on December 7, 2016. If you have been injured by taking Invokana or Invokamet, there is still time to file a claim.

A total of 55 cases alleging injuries from these diabetes drugs were transferred to a consolidated docket known as an MDL before the Honorable Brian R. Martinotti. An MDL (stands for MultiDistrict Litigation) is created to efficiently handle similar complex cases. In an MDL, while the cases share common legal and factual issues, each case is still resolved individually.

Invokana and Invokamet are classified as sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2 drugs (a/k/a SGLT2 inhibitors).  SGLT2s work by  preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing blood sugar. This lets the sugar leave the body through the urine, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. SGLT2s are prescribed for Type 2 diabetes.

Invokana, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and marketed in the U.S. by J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, was the first SGLT2 approved by the FDA.  Invokana went on the market on March 29, 2013; Invokamet was not approved until August 8, 2014. Between March 2013 and October 2015, the FDA received reports of 101 cases of acute kidney injury, including kidney impairment or failure; kidney stones, dehydration; urinary tract infections, weight loss, hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypersensitivity.

In May 2015 the FDA warned that patients should be alert to the symptoms of too much acid in the blood (ketoacidosis), and seek medical attention immediately if “difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and unusual fatigue or sleepiness”  is experienced while taking SGLT2s. The FDA had received 20 complaints from March 2013 to June 2014 of ketoacidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, or ketosis in patients taking SGLT2s.

In June of 2016 the FDA strengthened the existing warning on Invokana and Invokamet to include information about acute kidney injury, adding recommendations to minimize the risk of such injury. This stronger warning also included the SGLT2s Farxiga and Xigduo XR.

However, in consolidating the Invokana and Invokamet cases in New Jersey, the Panel decided against consolidating any other SGLT2 drugs in the MDL. Instead, the court chose to consolidate only the canagliflozan drugs, finding:

“…the Invokana/Invokamet actions involve common questions of fact, and [] centralization of these cases will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. The actions share factual questions arising from allegations that taking Invokana or Invokamet may result in patients suffering various injuries, including diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage. The actions thus implicate numerous common issues concerning the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory history, promotion, and labeling of the drugs.”

If you have taken Invokana, Invokamet, or another SGLT2 diabetes drug and have experienced side effects, you should call your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. If you have been diagnosed with ketoacidosis or any other serious side effect after taking Invokana, Invokamet, or any SGLT2, you may have a claim for damages. Call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at our toll free number 888-341-1405 or tell us your story here for a free, no obligation case evaluation.

J&J DePuy Ordered To Pay $502 Million for Pinnacle Hips

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Posted on March 18, 2016

A federal jury awarded over $500 million dollars to 5 patients who claimed injuries from their Johnson & Johnson DePuy Pinnacle metal hip implants. The verdict was delivered after a week of deliberation following two months of trial. The cases were consolidated for trial by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, who oversees the Pinnacle multi-district litigation in Dallas, Texas.

The jury awarded $142 million in actual damages to the five plaintiffs, Texas residents Margaret Aoki, Jay Christopher, Donald Greer, Richard Klusmann, and Robert Peterson. The jury awarded $360 million in punitive damages. The verdict is the second largest verdict in the United States this year.

Each plaintiff was implanted with DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants (Ultamet Liner) that failed and had to be surgically removed and replaced. They presented evidence that they experienced leaching of cobalt & chromium metals into their bloodstreams, and suffered metallosis, tissue necrosis, severe pain and inflammation of surrounding tissue, bone erosion, and other problems.

The jury found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants were defective, and that Johnson & Johnson knew about the defects but failed to warn doctors and patients of the risks. The jury heard that Johnson & Johnson aggressively marketed the Pinnacle hips as long-lasting, durable, and safe. Evidence was presented that J&J paid bribes and kickbacks overseas, and that J&J marketing and promotion in the U.S. included paying doctors millions of dollars to promote the hips, in the process misleading doctors and patients about the safety of the devices.

This was the second federal bellwether trial (test trial) involving the Pinnacle hip implants. The first ended in a defense verdict in 2014.More than 8,000 cases remain consolidated in federal court in Texas against Johnson & Johnson for the Pinnacle hip implants; the next bellwether trial is scheduled for the fall. Johnson & Johnson has announced it will appeal this verdict.

If you received a defective metal-on-metal hip implant,including those manufactured by Biomet, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries, lost income, medical expenses from replacement, and any other losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. The consultation is free and completely confidential. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case. Like all legal cases, hip implant claims have short, strictly enforced time limits, and you should seek legal advice immediately.

Stryker Hip Implant Cases Consolidated In Minnesota

By Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.

Posted on June 17, 2013

On June 12, 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) transferred more than 39 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII defective hip cases to the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. The MDL was approved to allow for coordination of pretrial discovery and to preserve judicial resources. The transferred cases, and any future Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip lawsuits filed in federal court, are assigned to Judge Donavan W. Frank in Minnesota Federal Court (In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2441). Common issues such as design defect and the safety and effectiveness of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems will be the focus of pre-trial discovery. The Stryker MDL was approved in order to prevent inconsistent rulings from multiple judges assigned to cases filed all over the country and to preserve the resources of the courts and the plaintiffs involved in these lawsuits.

In July of 2012, Stryker recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems. Lawsuits filed to date allege injuries including tissue death, metallosis, loosening or early failure of the hip implant, damage to the bones and tissues surrounding the implant and the need for revision surgery to remove defective Stryker hip implants. Thornton Law Firm, LLP is investigating and filing cases on behalf of individuals who were implanted with the recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip system and have suffered injuries related to these devices. We offer a free, confidential evaluation of your potential Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII hip claim. Please contact Stryker hip implant lawyer Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405.

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