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Androgel Heart Attack Lawsuit Set for Trial to Begin on June 5

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Trial is set to begin next month, involving a lawsuit brought by a Tennessee man who alleges that side effects of AndroGel caused a heart attack, which will be the first “bellwether” case out of several thousand similar testosterone claims pending throughout the federal court system.

There are currently more than 6,500 testosterone drug lawsuits pending in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated discovery and a series of early trials designed to gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the cases.

Each of the lawsuits involve similar allegations that the makers of Androgel, Testim, Axiron, Androderm and other “low T” treatments failed to adequately warn men and the medical community that the medications may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and other serious injuries.

Since Androgel is the most popular testosterone treatment, a series of cases involving injuries allegedly caused by use of the AbbVie’s prescription gel have been set for the first trials, followed by cases involving products made by other drug makers.

According to a proposed final pretrial order (PDF) filed last week, the Court has scheduled a jury trial to begin on June 5, for a lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Konrad and his wife, Jana Konrad. The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

Konrad indicates that he was prescribed AndroGel by his family physician in May 2010, and approximately two months later he suffered a heart attack. The lawsuit will involve allegations that AndroGel is unreasonably dangerous, and that AbbVie misrepresented the safety of the testosterone treatment, withholding information about the risk of heart attacks and other injuries.

A second bellwether case is set for trial to begin one month later, on July 5, involving another AndroGel heart attack lawsuit filed by plaintiff Jesse Mitchell. According to a proposed final pre-trial order (PDF) submitted for that case, Mitchell suffered a heart attack while tkaing AndroGel in November 2012, raising similar allegations and claims against AbbVie.

According to a docket entry (PDF) filed by the Court on May 11, a third trial against AbbVie will begin on September 18, followed by a fourth case on January 8, 2018.

Additional bellwether trials have also been scheduled involving lawsuits filed against other drug makers, with the first cases against Auxulium Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Testim, set to begin in early November 2017 and April 2018.

While the outcomes of these early trial dates are not binding on other plaintiffs in the testosterone litigation, they are designed to help the parties test the relative strengths and weaknesses of their cases.

Following bellwether trials in the MDL, if the parties fail to reach testosterone settlements or another resolution for the litigation, each individual case may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial dates in the future.

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