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MDL Sought For Lawsuits Over Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and Other GLP-1 Receptor Agonists
A panel of U.S. judges has been asked to establish a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the mounting lawsuits over gastroparesis side effects caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and similar diabetes and weight loss drugs.
The litigation involves a new class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which were originally approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, but have more recently become breakthrough weight loss treatments.
While Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and others have quickly become blockbuster medications that are widely used by individuals throughout the U.S., evidence has emerged over the past year that certain users experience a painful and debilitating stomach paralysis, known as gastroparesis, which lawsuits now allege was not fully disclosed on the drug labels.
Gastroparesis results from delayed emptying of the stomach, which is the known mechanism of action that makes Ozempic and the other drugs effective for weight loss. However, individuals who experience this side effect are typically left with persistent nausea, vomiting and other complications, often requiring repeated hospitalizations and long-term stomach problems.
As a result of the failure to disclose these risks, a number of Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits are now being filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, each raising nearly identical allegations that the drug makers knew or should have known about the side effects, but withheld information from consumers and the medical community to increase profits.
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On December 1, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion to transfer (PDF) with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), asking that all gastroparesis lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system be centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. in the Western District of Louisiana.
The motion indicates there are currently 18 cases pending in several different U.S. District Courts, and Ozempic stomach paralysis lawyers are currently investigating more than 10,000 additional claims that may be filed in the coming months and years.
“Coordination of pretrial proceedings is necessary to avoid duplicative discovery, unduly burdensome discovery obligations, and inconsistent rulings on pretrial motions,” plaintiffs wrote. “Indeed, centralization is consistent with the Panel’s repeated decisions to consolidate personal injury and product liability claims arising from the same drug class.”
In complex pharmaceutical litigation, where large numbers of claims are brought by users of the same medication or medical product, each experiencing the same or similar injuries, it is common for the U.S. JPML to centralize the litigation to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues that will arise in all claims, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of certain witnesses and parties who will be required to testify in each of the lawsuits.
If an MDL is established and the parties fail to negotiate Ozempic, Wegovy and 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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