Motion to Consolidate Lawsuits Against Ozempic, Wegovy, Other GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Manufacturers To Be Reviewed by MDL Panel

Some plaintiffs are calling for all GLP-1 lawsuits to be consolidated before one judge, while others indicate that any MDL should only include lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, the makers of Ozempic and Wegovy.

With a growing number of Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits being filed throughout the federal court system, a panel of judges will hear oral arguments this week on a motion to centralize all pretrial proceedings, and determine whether any multidistrict litigation (MDL) should also include similar claims against the makers of other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist medications, including Mounjaro and Zepbound.

Originally approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and other GLP-1 drugs have more recently been identified as breakthrough weight loss treatments. This has led them to quickly become blockbuster medications used by individuals throughout the United States.

However, evidence has emerged over the past year that certain users experience a painful and debilitating stomach paralysis, known as gastroparesis, which lawsuits allege was not fully disclosed on the drug labels.

Each of the complaints filed throughout the federal court system involve nearly identical allegations, indicating that drug manufacturers knew or should have known about the potential the potential GLP-1 gastroparesis side effects, but withheld information from consumers and the medical community to increase profits.

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In December, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion calling for the creation of a GLP-1 stomach paralysis lawsuit MDL, or multidistrict litigation, asking that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidate all complaints against manufacturers of any drugs from this class of medications before U.S. District Judge James D. Cain, Jr., in the Western District of Louisiana, since they each involve common questions of fact and law.

Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic and Wegovy, has filed a response supporting the centralization of all GLP-1 lawsuits, indicating that the complaints involve overlapping scientific theories, and would benefit from coordinated evaluation of proposed expert testimony suggesting that the drugs cause stomach paralsysis.

However, Eli Lilly, which manufactures the competing drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound, has opposed the creation of one MDL, indicating that the vast majority of claims involve use of Ozempic and Wegovy, and that lawsuits over their GLP-1 receptor agonists should not be included in any consolidation order at this time.

Some individuals plaintiffs are also opposing the creation of one GLP-1 lawsuit MDL at this time. In a response (PDF) filed on January 18, plaintiff Laura Marrero indicates that the MDL should be limited to lawsuits against the Novo Nordisk Ozempic and Wegovy, which both contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, and calls for the cases to be centralized in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which is closest to the drug maker’s U.S. headquarters.

In another response (PDF) filed the next day, plaintiff Marianne Gofourth, also opposed including GLP-1 lawsuits against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in a single consolidated proceeding will overly complicate the proceedings, without providing meaningful efficiencies.

“The majority of actions, like Plaintiff’s, involve claims against only Novo Nordisk drugs alone. While Eli Lilly also markets weight-loss drugs, there are no allegations of conspiracy or other joint action between the two drug manufacturers,” Gofourth’s indicates in the filing. “Further, the manufacturer’s drugs involve distinct molecules, distinct (and complex) regulatory histories, distinct warnings, distinct indications for use, and distinct marketing conduct. These are distinctions that will make meaningful differences in the litigation and adjudication of claims involving these drugs.”

GLP-1 MDL Oral Arguments This Week

The JPML announced it will hear arguments for and against consolidation of the lawsuits in a Notice of Hearing Session (PDF) issued last month. The notice indicated that the oral arguments will be held this Thursday, on January 25, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Federal Building in Santa Barbara, California.

According to the notice, there are currently 18 GLP-1 stomach paralysis lawsuits filed in 11 district courts nationwide, and GLP-1 stomach paralysis lawyers are currently investigating more than 10,000 additional claims that may be filed in the coming months and years.

If an MDL is established and the parties fail to negotiate Ozempic and Wegovy lawsuit settlements, and possibly Mounjaro lawsuit settlements, or reach another resolution, each individual claim may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.


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