Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawyers Appointed To Leadership Positions in Federal MDL

Plaintiffs and defendants are working jointly on a motion which will allow new Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits to be directly filed with the MDL court.

The U.S. District Judge recently selected to preside over all Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits has appointed a group of 20 plaintiffs’ lawyers to serve in various leadership positions, as coordinated pretrial proceedings get underway in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Reckitt Benkiser and its Indivior subsidiary face a rapidly growing number product liability lawsuits that are now being pursued by individuals nationwide, each raising similar allegations that the drug makers failed to adequately warn about the risk of dental decay and tooth loss from Suboxone film, which is placed inside the cheek or under the tongue to treat recovering opioid addicts; helping them avoid withdrawal symptoms while undergoing therapy to break their addiction.

The Suboxone injury lawyers appointed to leadership positions in the MDL will take certain actions during the coordinated pretrial proceedings that benefit all plaintiffs, including conducting discovery into common issues that apply to all claims, arguing motions before the court and negotiating potential settlements or stipulations.

Lawsuits Allege Suboxone Tooth Decay Could Have Been Avoided

Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, as a dissolvable tablet. However, lawsuits 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.

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

Did You Suffer Tooth Loss from Suboxone?

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.

Suboxone Lawsuit Leadership Attorney Appointments

In February, Judge Calabrese called for applications from Suboxone lawyers seeking certain leadership positions in the litigation before the first status conference, which was held last week. The applications were due by March 1.

On March 8, the Court issued a case management order (PDF) appointing four attorneys as co-lead counsel, five attorneys to a Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, and 11 attorneys to a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

The lawyers appointed to the leadership positions will be tasked with coordinating status updates for the court, arguing certain pretrial motions, conducting discovery and depositions into common issues that impact all claims, and potentially negotiating a framework for Suboxone tooth decay settlements that may help resolve large numbers of claims. However, each individual plaintiff will still retain their own lawyer to meet various deadlines and establish that they meet the criteria for Suboxone injury lawsuit payout.

Suboxone Lawsuit Direct Filing Order Pending

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.

It is expected that Judge Calabrese will hold a series of bellwether trials to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

As part of that process, the judge ordered the parties to provide instructions for plaintiffs to be able to file claims directly with the MDL court, instead of waiting to have them transferred from the district where they would usually be filed. The parties indicated they are working cooperatively on a joint proposal to do so in Suboxone lawsuit status conference minutes (PDF) issued on March 8.

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 FDA having added the Suboxone tooth decay warnings in 2022, many plaintiffs will have only until early this summer to file.

Following coordinated discovery and any bellwether trials in the Suboxone MDL, if the parties are unable to agree to 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 next status conference is scheduled for April 16.


Find Out If You Qualify for Suboxone Tooth Decay Compensation

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