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As a growing number of Invokana lawsuits continue to be filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation has ordered that Fact Sheets be submitted by each plaintiff, providing case-specific details about their claims for diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure and other injuries allegedly caused by the new generation diabetes drug.
Given the similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints brought in federal district courts nationwide, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established coordinate pretrial proceedings late last year, centralizing the cases before U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti in New Jersey to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings, and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and judicial system.
There are currently at least 230 cases pending before Judge Martinotti. However, as Invokana injury lawyers continue to review and file complaints in the coming months and years, the size of the litigation is expected to continue to grow.
While each of the lawsuits involve common allegations that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the potential side effects of Invokana, Judge Martinotti has approved a Plaintiffs’ Fact Sheet to standardize the collection of case-specific information on each claim.
In a case management order (PDF) issued on June 16, Judge Martinotti indicates that for all claims added to the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) prior to May 3, plaintiffs must file their Fact Sheet by July 7, 2017. For all cases after that date, the Plaintiffs Fact Sheet must be filed within 45 days from the Notice of Answer and Affirmative Defenses entered by the Court.
Each Fact Sheet asks for pertinent information about the individual plaintiff, including their use of Invokana and details surrounding their injury. Each plaintiff will also need to produce proof that they ingested Invokana or Invokamet, the two drugs involved in the litigation, and responses will be treated as answers to interrogatories under federal discovery rules.
Failure to comply with the order could eventually lead to a plaintiff’s Invokana lawsuit being dismissed.
Judge Martinotti also indicated that a Defendants Fact Sheet must be provided within 90 days of the filing of a Plaintiffs Fact Sheet, including information on the drug makers’ contacts with plaintiffs and their prescribing healthcare providers, medical information request letters, and other written discovery information.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings in the Invokana MDL, Judge Martinotti has previously indicated that a small group of “bellwether” cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help the parties gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout a number of claims. The standardized Fact Sheets are designed to assist in identifying representative claims for the bellwether process.
Following any trial dates and coordinated discovery in the MDL, if the manufacturer fails to reach Invokana settlement agreements or another resolution for the cases, hundreds of individual claims may be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates in the future.