Thoracic Aortic Dissection Lawsuit Filed Over Testosterone Drug Side Effects

According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed this week against Pfizer, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, side effects of testosterone drugs caused a South Carolina man to suffer a thoracic aortic dissection. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed on Monday by Michael R. Gurrieri in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where more than 6,000 similar testosterone drug lawsuits are pending before U.S District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

While most of the claims indicate that users of different testosterone replacement therapy suffered heart attacks, strokes or blood clots, Gurrieri indicates that the controversial drugs caused him to suffer an aortic dissection, which is a severe and life-threatening complication involving the main artery in the human body.

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Aortic dissections involves a tear inside of the aorta, which causes blood to low between the layers, forcing them apart. It is similar to an aortic aneurysm, which occurs when the walls of the artery weaken and an abnormal bulge develops. The conditions are associated with severe chest or back pain, which can quickly lead to death or severe, long-term injury.

Gurrieri indicates that he suffered the testosterone aortic injury in May 2015, after using Testim and Depo-Testosterone since mid-February 2009.

Testosterone Drug Litigation

As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois, small groups of representative cases are being prepared for early trial dates, known as “bellwether” cases, since the outcomes are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that will be presented throughout the litigation.

A series of eight Androgel lawsuits are already scheduled to go to trial in the second half of 2017, as that is the most widely used testosterone replacement therapy. Those cases were identified in September, from an original pool of cases selected last year to go through the case-specific discovery process.

In addition, Judge Kennelly additional bellwether processes, which call for two Axiron lawsuits to be prepared for trial dates on January 29 and March 7, 2018, and a group of Testim lawsuits and Foresta lawsuits will be set for early trial dates, as well.

Following the bellwether trials, if testosterone drug settlements are not reached to resolve claims, hundreds or individual cases may start being remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates.


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