Testosterone Injury Lawyers to Present Cases for Leadership Roles

As a growing number of Androgel lawsuits, Testim lawsuits and other cases involving injuries from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) continue to be filed throughout the country, attorneys who are seeking leadership positions in the consolidated federal litigation will have an opportunity to make their case at a hearing this week.

Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established coordinated pretrial proceedings for all testosterone injury lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, centralizing the cases as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in the Eastern District of Illinois.

After multiple injury lawyers applied for leadership roles in the testosterone MDL, seeking to perform tasks during the litigation that will benefit all plaintiffs, Judge Kennelly indicated that all candidates will have an opportunity to be heard by the Court on July 29, according to a Notification of Docket Entry (PDF) issued on July 10.

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Judge Kennelly has indicated that he intends to appoint one or more attorneys to serve as plaintiffs’ lead counsel, liaison counsel and on a plaintiffs’ steering committee. These lawyers will be responsible for conducting common discovery throughout the testosterone litigation, presenting the position of all plaintiffs to the Court and defendants, as well as entering into any stipulations or settlement agreements as necessary during pretrial proceedings.

A deadline of July 3 was established for any applications or nominations, and several dozen attorneys filed documents requesting to serve on the plaintiffs’ steering committee or in other roles. After the lawyers were unable to reach a consensus as to who will serve in which roles, Judge Kennelly scheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

A full case management conference before Judge Kennelly has been scheduled for August 22. About a week before this conference, the parties have been directed to submit a proposed agenda, as well as a joint status report regarding the parties discussions, agreements or disagreements over proposed protective orders, preservation orders and certain discovery protocols.

Testosterone Drug Lawsuits

As of July 15, at least 156 product liability lawsuits have been centralized before Judge Kennelly involving men who allege that the makers of various “Low T” drugs failed to adequately warn about the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and other injuries that may be caused by side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.

The cases have all been centralized as part of one MDL, regardless of which specific testosterone drug is involved in the case. The consolidation is designed to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

Most of the complaints have been filed in the wake of an FDA announcement issued on January 31, which indicated that the agency is reviewing the cardiovascular risks among men taking any approved testosterone drugs.

The FDA investigation was launched following several studies published in recent months involving the link between low testosterone drugs and heart attacks.

In November 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested side effects of testosterone may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death among older men with certain pre-existing heart problems.

This research was followed by a study published by the medical journal PLOSOne in January 2014, which found that low testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for younger men with heart disease and men over the age of 65, regardless of their prior heart conditions.

As testosterone injury lawyers continue to review and file additional cases over the coming months and years, it is ultimately expected that thousands of cases will be filed against the makers of Androgel, Testim, Axiron, Androderm and other medications marketed in recent years for men suffering from low T.

It is expected that Judge Kennelly will eventually select a small number of cases to serve as “bellwether” lawsuits, which will be prepared for early trial dates to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout the litigation. While the outcome of these early trials would not be binding on other cases, they may influence eventual testosterone settlement negotiations.

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