New Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits Can Now Be Directly Filed in Federal MDL

It is expected that the Court will soon approve a Master Complaint and Short Form Complaint, which will allow new Suboxone lawsuits involving tooth decay to be filed using an abbreviated form.

The U.S. District Judge recently appointed to preside over all Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system has issued an order allowing new cases to be filed directly in the Northern District of Ohio, regardless of where the underlying claim originated.

Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, as a dissolvable tablet. However, a growing number of Suboxone lawsuits now allege that the drug maker introduced the new Suboxone film version to avoid competition from generic equivalents, and continued to sell the product without disclosing the severe dental risks that users may face.

As a result of inadequate warnings and instructions provided by the drug makers, thousands of users now claim that they have experienced devastating tooth decay, often resulting in broken or extracted teeth, leaving them with massive dental bills and disfiguring injuries.

It was not until early 2022 that Suboxone tooth decay warnings were added to the medication, after the FDA identified more than 300 cases of dental damage reported to the agency. However, plaintiffs claim that they may have avoided permanent tooth problems if earlier warnings and instructions had been provided about certain steps that can be taken to avoid erosion of enamel and tooth loss.

Suboxone Lawsuit

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Lawsuits are being pursued by users of Suboxone who experienced tooth loss, broken teeth or required dental extractions. Settlement benefits may be available.

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Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) recently centralized Suboxone lawsuits before U.S. District Judge Philip Calabrese in the Northern District of Ohio, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.

Since then, new Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits filed in various different U.S. District Courts have been transferred to Judge Calabrese, causing delay and unnecessarily utilizing judicial resources.

Direct Filing of Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits

As part of the coordinated management of the litigation, Judge Calabrese will preside over discovery into common issues that apply to all claims, and is expected to establish a bellwether process, where small groups of representative Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits will go through case-specific discovery and be prepared for early trial dates, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

On March 18, the judge issued a case management order (PDF) that allows new Suboxone lawsuits to be directly filed in the MDL court, instead of bringing the complaints in various different U.S. District Courts nationwide and waiting for the cases to be transferred to Ohio.

In the coming weeks, it is expected the Court will approve a Master Complaint and Short Form Complaint, which will allow new lawsuits to be filed using an abbreviated form that adopts certain allegations that are specific to the individual plaintiff, such as the injury that is alleged to have resulted from use of the opioid addiction treatment.

This will allow the parties to gather standardized information about each claim, and select a representative group of claims for any future bellwether process and early trial dates.

Direct filing of the complaints will help speed up the process of determining which cases are most representative of the bulk of the litigation, and thus most useful for bellwether trials.

It is expected that potentially thousands of additional Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits will be filed in the coming months, as many states have a two-year statute of limitations on filing complaints after a plaintiff knows or should have known that the drug caused their injuries. With the manufacturer adding Suboxone tooth decay warnings in June 2022, many plaintiffs will have only until early this summer to file.

Following coordinated discovery and any bellwether trials in the MDL, if the parties are unable to agree to Suboxone tooth decay settlements or another resolution for the dental injury claims, each individual claim would later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.

The parties are scheduled to meet with Judge Calabrese for a Suboxone MDL status conference on April 16.


Find Out If You Qualify for Suboxone Tooth Decay Compensation

1 Comments

  • CharlesMarch 24, 2024 at 10:03 pm

    Atleast now I know why my teeth were chipping off so easily now I chipped both of my two front teeth from eating cereal my upper rear molar chipped off from eating sun chips harvest cheddar I can remember every single time because it’s so depressing to not being able to eat foods I used to not smiling anymore because of being ashamed and couldn’t understand why until now

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