Androgel Bellwether Trials Scheduled to Begin June 2017
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal testosterone lawsuits indicates that a group of 26 Androgel bellwether claims will be reduced to just eight, which will be prepared for early trial dates slated to begin in June 2017.
There are currently more than 5,000 Androgel lawsuits, Axiron lawsuits, Testim lawsuits, Androderm lawsuits and other claims pending throughout the federal court system over the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy, which allegedly caused men to suffer heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and other serious injuries.
Given the common questions of fact and law raised in the cases, complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide are centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation. The process is designed to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
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As part of the coordinated proceedings, Judge Kennelly previously established a “bellwether” process, where a small group of cases filed against AbbVie, the makers of Androgel, are being prepared for early trial dates, since that testosterone gel is the most widely used of the “low T” drug on the market.
In an amended case management order (PDF) issued on May 3, Judge Kennelly indicates that there are currently a group of 26 remaining Androgel bellwether lawsuits in the initial bellwether discovery pool, following multiple and various challenges. Case-specific discovery in those is expected to be completed by July 6, 2016. Later that month, the parties have been directed to submit proposals for the selection of a group of eight cases that will be eligible for the first bellwether trial dates, which are expected to start going before federal juries in June 2017.
The Androgel bellwether trials are designed to be representative of other claims in the litigation, to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will likely be similar to what is presented in a large number of cases. Following a delay of six weeks due to discovery issues, a series of six trial dates have been scheduled to begin on June 5, 2017, July 17, 2017, August 28, 2017, October 9, 2017, November 20, 2017, and January 8, 2018.
While the outcomes of these early trial dates are not binding on other cases, they may influence eventual Androgel settlements or other negotiations to resolve cases and avoid the need for hundreds of individual trials to be scheduled in courts throughout the U.S.
Following these bellwether Androgel trials, Judge Kennelly has previously indicated that a second series of trials will be scheduled involving other “low T” drugs, such as Axiron, Testim, Androderm and others. If the bellwether process fails to result in settlement of a large number of cases, or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Kennelly could begin remanding individual cases back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for further trials.
BobbyJune 6, 2017 at 5:11 pm
I will not be satisfied until they take this bad drug off the market.
HarveyJune 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm
This is such crap. Bellwether trials were supposed to begin in June of 2016, now it's been moved a year longer. I've suffering for 8 years from the side effects of this drug. I hope ABVIE gets the shaft in this one.
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