Elmiron Claim Information Being Gathered on all Filed and Unfiled Cases Over Eye Damage

Judge presiding over the litigation has ordered lawyers to submit information about each Elmiron vision loss claim that may be presented in advance of any settlement negotiations

In a move that may signal that parties are preparing to begin Elmiron lawsuit settlement negotiations, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation is calling for lawyers to submit information about all potential Elmiron claims involving eye damage caused by the bladder drug, including both filed and unfiled cases.

Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a prescription medication used by individual suffering from interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome. Since there is no cure of the underlying condition, the drug is often taken for years. However, a growing number of individuals are now pursuing lawsuits against the drug makers, alleging that they were not warned long-term side effects of Elmiron may damage vision, causing a form of retinal damage known as pigmentary maculopathy.

Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary currently faces more than 700 product liability lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, each raising nearly identical allegations that plaintiffs could have avoided the problems if adequate information and warnings had been provided for users and the medical community. However, it is likely that Elmiron lawyers are still investigating hundreds, if not thousands of additional claims, which will soon be added to the litigation.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, consolidated pretrial proceedings were established for all Elmiron cases in December 2020, centralizing the claims before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in the District of New Jersey, for coordinated discovery and a series of early trials designed to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the cases.

On March 3, Judge Martinotti issued a case management order (PDF) calling for information on all Elmiron claims, both filed or unfiled, to be submitted by all lawyers involved in the litigation within 21 days. The court has provided a case & claim data form to be used by each attorney representing any plaintiff or claimant.

While there have been no reported Elmiron settlements, similar efforts have been made in other litigations as the parties begin to prepare for negotiations, and the drug maker seeks to understand the full scope of liability they may face.

The order also comes ahead of an April 8 deadline for selection of bellwether cases, which will be prepared for a series of early Elmiron trials scheduled to begin in January 2023.

While the outcome of these early trial dates would not be binding on other plaintiffs, they are likely to have a big impact on any settlement negotiations the drug makers may enter if they wish to avoid hundreds of individual cases being set for trial in courts nationwide in the coming yeras.

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