Suffer Hearing Loss from Tepezza?
JPML To Consider Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuit Consolidation in May
A panel of federal judges will hear oral arguments late next month, to determine whether to consolidate and centralize all Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits filed in federal courts nationwide before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) is a new-generation biologic treatment introduced in January 2020, as the first medication approved to treat thyroid eye disease or bulging eyes, which is caused by hyperthyroidism and linked to Graves’ disease, resulting in inflammation of eye muscles, eyelids, tear glands and fatty tissues behind the eye.
Although Tepezza was originally intended as a niche treatment, with only a limited market, during the second year the drug was on the market in the United States sales doubled to $1.66 billion, and critics have expressed concern that Tepezza was aggressively marketed without adequately disclosing all of the potential risks.
Hundreds of former users are now coming forward to report that they experienced various forms of hearing problems from Tepezza, including persistent ringing in the ears known as tinnitus, and complete hearing loss. In many cases, the problems persist long after the thyroid eye disease treatments, leaving users with irreversible hearing damage.
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Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. Distsrict Courts nationwide, a plaintiff filed a motion to centralize Tepezza lawsuits over hearing problems on March 22, asking that all claims to be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for pretrial proceedings, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.
JPML to Hear Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuit Consolidation Arguments
In a Notice of Hearing Session (PDF) issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on April 14, oral arguments on the creation of a Tepezza MDL were scheduled for May 25 at the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia.
At the time the motion was filed, there were at least 18 cases filed in five different U.S. District Courts nationwide, each of which involve plaintiffs who suffered hearing loss or hearing problems from Tepezza side effects. However, additional claims have been filed over the past few weeks, and it is ultimately expected that several hundred lawsuits may be filed in the coming weeks and months.
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.
As Tepezza injury lawyers continue to review and file claims for individuals who experienced hearing problems after receiving the thyroid eye disease treatment, it is ultimately expected that several hundred claims will be brought throughout the federal court system. If an MDL is established, each individual claim may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial, if the parties fail to negotiate Tepezza settlements or another resolution for the claims.
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