GLP1 Lawsuits Consolidated In One MDL, Combining Stomach Paralysis Claims Involving Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro

MDL Panel rejected Eli Lilly's request to exclude Mounjaro lawsuits from other GLP-1 stomach paralysis lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus.

  • GLP1 receptor agonists include blockbuster drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, Mounjaro, Trulicity and Zepbound
  • Lawsuits against GLP1 manufacturers allege that users were not adequately warned about the risk of stomach paralysis
  • Over the past year, Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits have been filed throughout the U.S., each raising similar questions of fact and law
  • JPML determined that all GLP1 lawsuits involving any of the drugs will be centralized before U.S. District Judge Gene E. K. Pratter as part of one MDL

The U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has determined that all stomach paralysis lawsuits involving glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which include the blockbuster drugs Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro, will be consolidated before one federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

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 by the drug makers on the warning labels.

As a result, a growing number of Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits have been filed in recent months, each raising nearly identical allegations that drug makers withheld critical information from consumers and the medical community to increase profits.

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Lawyers are pursuing Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits over gastroparesis or stomach paralysis, which can leave users with long-term gastrointestinal side effects

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In December, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion calling for the centralization of all GLP-1 lawsuits as part of a single federal multidistrict litigation, or MDL, to avoid duplicate discovery into common issues in the cases and conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges.

Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus, supported consolidation of the case as part of one GLP1 lawsuit MDL. However, Eli Lilly, the makers of Mounjaro, Trulicity and Zepbound, sought to excluded cases involving their drugs from the MDL, indicating that the vast majority of lawsuits involved claims against Novo Nordisk stemming from the use of Ozempic and Wegovy, and that lawsuits over their GLP1 agonists should proceed separately at this time.

GLP-1 Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits MDL Formed

Following oral arguments held on January 15, the JPML issued a transfer order (PDF) on February 2, indicating that all stomach paralysis lawsuits involving any GLP1 medications should be managed together for pretrial proceedings, including those against either Eli Lilly or Novo Nordisk.

The panel assigned the litigation to U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who will preside over coordinated discovery in the case, preparations for any early bellwether trials and potential GLP1 settlement negotiations in the future.

There are currently only about 18 GLP1 lawsuits pending in various different federal district courts nationwide. However, GLP1 stomach paralysis lawyers anticipate hundreds or even thousands of similar claims are likely to be filed in the coming months and years, in line with the growing popularity of Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro prescriptions. The JPML noted some estimates indicate nearly 2% of the U.S. population have been prescribed these drugs for either diabetes treatment or weight loss.

Although a number of individual plaintiffs joined Eli Lilly in requesting that Mounjaro lawsuits be handled separately from the Ozempic and Wegovy lawsuits, the JPML disagreed and determined that it was appropriate to consolidate all GLP1 claims as part of one MDL proceeding.

“The claims against Novo Nordisk and the claims against Eli Lilly are likely to involve some common discovery, particularly with respect to the alleged biological mechanism of injury and may entail overlapping expert witnesses,” the panel wrote. “Centralization will facilitate a uniform and efficient pretrial approach to this litigation, eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent rulings on expert testimony and other pretrial issues, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.”

The judges noted there are enough claims involving Mounjaro to qualify for centralized treatment, indicating that at least six of the lawsuits filed involve allegations that plaintiffs took both a Novo Nordisk drug and an Eli Lilly product.

“Simply excluding actions that name Eli Lilly would result in duplicative discovery and pretrial proceedings with respect to Novo Nordisk,” the JPML ruled. “We do not discount the case management-related complexities that a multi-product and multi-defendant MDL such as this may entail. But in the circumstances presented here, centralization under Section 1407 is the best course for all the actions.”

Following coordinated management of the litigation before Judge Pratter, including any early bellwether trials held to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation, if GLP1 settlements or another resolution for the litigation is not reached by the parties, 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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