Injectafer Lawsuit Scheduled For Trial Over Iron Infusion Side Effects in June 2023
With dozens of Injectafer lawsuits over side effects from the iron infusion being pursued in the federal court system, the U.S. District Judge presiding over all claims pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has scheduled the first jury trial for June 2023.
Injectafer is an intravenous injection administered for treatment of iron deficiency anemia. However, a growing number of product liability lawsuits allege the manufacturers failed to adequately disclose that the iron infusion side effects may cause dangerous drops in blood phosphate levels, often leading to a life-threatening condition known as severe hypophosphatemia (HPP).
Given common allegations raised in complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, more than 100 Injectafer lawsuits have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone, who has the parties preparing a small group of “bellwether” cases for early trial dates to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.
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Side effects of the iron deficiency drug Injectafer may result in severely low phosphorous levels.
In a pretrial scheduling order (PDF) issued on September 15, Judge Beetlestone announced that the first Injectafer trial will begin on June 5, 2023.
The Court has directed plaintiffs to submit a Pretrial Memoranda by May 22, 2023, with the Defendants’ Pretrial Memoranda is due by May 29, 2023, each including a summary of the case, the parties’ respective contentions, any stipulations of counsel, an itemized list of any admissions, witness and exhibit lists and other key case details.
The Injectafer trial will involve a lawsuit filed by Katherine Crockett in December 2018. According to the complaint (PDF), Crockett, of Philadelphia, was prescribed Injectafer in May 2017. She received two injections that month, and shortly after her blood phosphorous levels plummeted.
“Plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with Severe Hypophosphatemia and, as a result, suffered from multiple hospitalizations, severe nausea, severe weakness and pain, and severe and constant fatigue,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff was additionally diagnosed with renal phosphate wasting that Plaintiff alleges was caused by Injectafer. As a result of Plaintiff’s severe and ongoing injuries, Plaintiff had to take a leave of absence from her place of employment and was only able to return after several months on limited duties.”
2022 Injectafer Lawsuit Update
While the Injectafer lawsuits have not been centralized as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, since nearly all federal claims have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the claims have been coordinated to avoid duplicative discovery and avoid conflicting pretrial schedules.
Each of the lawsuits present similar allegations against Daiichi Sankyo and it’s subsidiaries, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals and American Regent, Inc., as well as Vifor Pharmaceuticals, who was the original developer of the iron infusion.
While the outcome of the early Injectafer bellwether trial in 2023 will not be binding on other plaintiffs, the outcome will be closely watched by lawyers and parties involved in the litigation, and may have a substantial impact on eventual settlement negotiations.
Earlier this year, Injectafer lawyers filed a motion seeking to combine lawsuits filed by Crockett and Jennifer Krueger for trial, to conserve resources and promote judicial efficiences. However, according to an order issued by Judge Beetlestone in July 2022, Injectafer lawsuits filed by the two women will go to trial separately to avoid any risk of juror confusion or prejudice.
Following the initial bellwether trials, if the parties fail to negotiate Injectafer settlements or otherwise resolve large numbers of cases, the Court has indicated that consolidation may be effective and necessary as dozens of additional cases are scheduled for trial.
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