Lawsuits Over Tepezza and Hearing Loss Will Be Prepared For First Jury Trial in March 2026

A series of four Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits will go to trial between March 9, 2026 and August 24, 2026, to help determine the average payout juries may award and promote settlement negotiations

Lawyers involved in federal Tepezza hearing loss litigation have submitted proposed schedules leading up to the first bellwether trials, which will help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout hundreds of claims.

While the parties still have a number of disagreements regarding deadlines leading up to the start of the first trial, both sides have agreed that the process should culminate with a series of four cases going before juries between March 2026 and August 2026.

Each of the claims involve similar allegations that Horizon Therapeutics failed to adequately warn users about the link between hearing loss and Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw), which is a new-generation biologic treatment marketed for thyroid eye disease or bulging eyes.

Although Tepezza infusions were 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 that users may experience permanent and irreversible hearing loss.

Tepezza Lawsuits

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Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in federal courts nationwide, a Tepezza MDL (multidistrict litigation) was established last year, centralizing the lawsuits before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As part of the coordinated management of the litigation, Judge Durkin has established a “bellwether” program, where a group of 12 representative cases have been selected to go through case-specific discovery in preparation for early trial dates, which will help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout various cases in the litigation.

Plaintiffs previously selected four bellwether lawsuits over Tepezza and hearing loss, and Horizon Therapeutics submitted it’s list of four claim on May 30, 2024. The last four cases will be generated randomly and submitted to the court by June 6, 2024.

Tepezza Lawsuit Bellwether Trial Dates

Earlier this month, Judge Durkin held oral arguments on the Tepezza bellwether trial schedule, determining that the first bellwether trial will begin on March 9, 2026. It will be the first of four of such trials, with the second beginning on May 4, 2026, a third trial scheduled for June 29 of that year, and the fourth to begin on August 24, 2026.

The parties submitted a joint proposed case management order (PDF) on May 10, and were able to reach agreement on most, but not all, dates in the schedule.

The parties set a date of December 20, 2024 for the close of fact discovery for the 12 selected cases. However, the parties disagree on the deadline for the close of corporate fact discovery, and the page length and format of any motions to dismiss cases selected for potential bellwether trials.

On May 13, the court issued a Notice of Docket Entry (PDF) indicating the parties should meet and confer to attempt to come to an agreement on the remaining scheduling issues in dispute by June 11. They will then submit a written report either on a final joint scheduling order, or they can present their respective proposals to the court. However, the notice indicates the parties should first try to reach an agreement beforehand.

June 2024 Tepezza Settlement Update

While the outcome of these early bellwether trials will not have any binding impact on other claims presented in the litigation, the average Tepezza lawsuit payouts awarded by juries are likely to have a large impact on settlement negotiations between the parties.

The bellwether selections are intended to involve claims will be representative of the larger litigation, helping the parties weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of the allegations that users may have avoided Tepezza hearing problems if the drug maker had disclosed information about the risk, and instructed doctors to obtain hearing tests before and during treatments.

In July 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new version of the Tepezza prescribing information guide, which now adds many of the same hearing loss warnings plaintiffs indicate should have been included when the drug was first introduced.

The new Tepezza label update now discloses that users have been left with severe and permanent hearing loss. It also indicates doctors should assess patients’ hearing before, during, and after Tepezza infusions, to avoid users experiencing permanent ear damage.

Following the bellwether trials, if the parties fail to reach Tepezza hearing loss settlements or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Durkin may begin remanding individual cases to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates in the coming years.

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