Digitek Lawyers Appointed to Leadership Roles in Federal MDL

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is handling the consolidated Digitek lawsuits in West Virginia, has issued a pretrial order appointing Co-Lead Attorneys and members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation. These lawyers will perform services that benefit all of the plaintiffs during pretrial phase of the litigation.

Digitek is a heart medication which has been linked to serious and fatal injuries for hundreds of people who received tablets that contained twice the intended amount of the drug. These defective pills were caused by a manufacturing defect and lack of quality controls at a manufacturing plant in New Jersey operated by generic drug maker Actavis Totowa, LLC.

A Digitek recall was issued in April 2008 for all lots of the pills sold, and Actavis Totowa and their distributors now face a growing number of lawsuits filed by individuals who have suffered an overdose known as digitalis toxicity.

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On August 13, 2008, all federal Digitek lawsuits filed against Actavis and their distributors were centralized and consolidated in an MDL in the Southern District of West Virginia before Judge Goodwin. The cases will be handled in a coordinated fashion during pretrial litigation to avoid inconsistent rulings and duplicative discovery which could be caused if the cases were spread throughout the country.

In a Pretrial Order issued November 5, 2008, Judge Goodwin appointed several Digitek lawyers representing individuals who have filed lawsuits, to serve in leadership roles in the newly formed litigation.

Three attorneys, Carl N. Frankovitch, Fred Thompson and Harry F. Bell, Jr, were appointed to serve as Co-Lead Counsel for all plaintiffs’. These attorneys will act as the spokesperson for the plaintiffs at pretrial proceedings and in response to inquiries from the court. They will also be the attorneys who will submit and argue motions, examine witnesses at hearings and negotiate stipulations and potential settlements with the defendants, which would apply to all cases.

The Court also appointed 22 lawyers from different law firms to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC). These lawyers will share in the responsibilities for conducting discovery and other work that applies to the cases during the pretrial litigation phase.

There are currently 66 cases that have been centralized in the MDL. However, Digitek lawyers throughout the country are continuing to review and investigate hundreds of other cases to determine if alleged injuries were connected to the defective tablets.

As those Digitek lawsuits are filed in federal court, they will be transferred to Judge Goodwin in West Virginia for pretrial proceedings. The lawyers handling those cases will then have access to the common benefit work performed by the Co-Lead Attorneys and Plaintiffs Streering Committee, and they will pay an assessment out of their attorney fee to compensate the leadership lawyers for the work they perform that benefits all cases.

1 Comments

  • floydNovember 15, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    My father is one of the plaintiffs whose case has been handed over to this West Virginia group. Its a miracle that he lived through this. I am thankful for the hard work of the associated attorneys. It would be nice if more information could be shared with the victims. These companies need to be severely punished for what they have done.

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