Lawyers Appointed To Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in Elmiron Vision Loss Lawsuits
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Elmiron lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system has appointed a group of 25 lawyers to serve on a plaintiffs’ steering committeee (PSC) and in other leadership roles, taking certain actions during the consolidated pretrial proceedings that benefit all individuals pursuing claims over vision loss caused by the bladder drug.
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS) is a prescription medication that has been on the market since 1996. It is the only approved oral treatment for interstitial cystitis, which is also commonly referred to has “painful bladder syndrome”, and is commonly used for years, since there is no known cure for the condition.
Although the drug makers received a series of reports involving vision loss associated with Elmiron, the first warnings about the importance of monitoring for retinal damage or vision changes on Elmiron were not added to the label until June 2020, indicating the drug has been linked to reports of a condition known as pigmentary maculopathy, which involves difficulty adapting in dark light, spots or floaters in the vision, as well as blindness.
A growing number of individuals nationwide have now retained Elmiron lawyers to pursue vision loss claims from the drug makers, alleging they may have avoided permanent vision problems if earlier warnings and information had been provided.
Given similar questions of fact and law raised in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, established consolidated pretrial proceedings for the Elmiron cases were established last month, centralizing claims brought throughout the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in the District of New Jersey, for coordinated discovery and a series of early “bellwether” trials.
Earlier this month, a group of attorneys asked Judge Martinotti to appoint a plaintiff leadership committee, and on January 22, he issued a court order (PDF) which would established the plaintiffs leadership structure. The Court noted “the consensus recommendations present an array of highly skilled counsel with diverse backgrounds and experience which will provide the Court with an effective committee to advance this litigation in an efficient and just manner,” according to the order.
The appointments include two attorneys serving as co-lead counsel, one appointed as liaison counsel, seven attorneys appointed to a Plaintiffs Executive Committee, and 15 appointed to a Plaintiffs Steering Committee.
Attorneys appointed to these various roles would perform various tasks during the discovery process and meetings with the Court, including arguing motions, taking depositions of common witnesses, reviewing discovery documents and other actions. However, each plaintiff will still maintain their own lawyer to represent their specific interests in the claim against Allergan.
Following the completion of discovery and any “bellwether” trials held in the MDL, if the parties fail to reach Elmiron settlements or another resolution for the litigation, each of the claims may later be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates.
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