A number of drug and system litigations ballooned in 2020. Some, together with Zantac lawsuits, have been affected by the year’s major recalls. Others, similar to Juul e-cigarette circumstances, skilled as a lot as an eightfold enhance over the course of the yr.
A complete of 33 multidistrict litigations closed in 2020, about 10 fewer than had led to 2019. In the meantime, 178 litigations — comprising 330,816 pending circumstances — remained open because the yr got here to an finish.
For comparability, in December 2019, solely 132,380 circumstances have been pending in 189 litigations — nearly 200,000 fewer circumstances than in 2020.
We’ve compiled a listing of a few of the yr’s high courtroom circumstances. Plaintiffs filed lawsuits claiming accidents from imaginative and prescient loss to most cancers.
Elmiron and Imaginative and prescient Issues
In 2020, extra folks filed lawsuits in opposition to Janssen Prescription drugs claiming the corporate’s interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) brought about imaginative and prescient harm and imaginative and prescient loss.
Janssen added a warning for retinal pigmentary maculopathy to the drug’s label in June 2020. The drug has been available on the market for the reason that late Nineteen Nineties.
Trial legal professional Trent B. Miracle with Simmons Hanley Conroy instructed Drugwatch he expects tons of extra folks to file Elmiron lawsuits.
Hernia Mesh and Issues
Hernia mesh lawsuits in opposition to Bard, Ethicon and Atrium greater than doubled in 2020. In December 2019, the three hernia mesh producers confronted 7,803 federal lawsuits. One yr later, the entire variety of circumstances pending in multidistrict litigations had skyrocketed to fifteen,800.
Lawsuits declare mesh brought about complications similar to ache, infections, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction and organ perforation.
Trials have been initially scheduled in 2020, however the COVID-19 pandemic postponed these trials. If the schedules go as deliberate, the primary bellwether trials in opposition to every firm will begin in January 2021.
Juul E-Cigs, Seizures and Lung Illness
As of Dec. 15, 2020, greater than 1,400 Juul lawsuits from across the U.S. had been mixed in a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey. When the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established the MDL in October 2019, there have been solely 10 actions.
Plaintiffs declare Juul used misleading marketing to addict users, largely minors, and didn’t warn that vaping might result in seizures, critical lung accidents and strokes. Juul denies the allegations that it focused minors and intends to battle the lawsuits.
To this point, there have been no trials, and litigation is in early phases.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Most cancers
Talcum powder lawsuits in opposition to Johnson & Johnson made up the second-largest multidistrict litigation for the second consecutive yr. As of Dec. 15, 2020, Johnson & Johnson confronted greater than 24,700 federal lawsuits claiming its talc merchandise similar to Johnson’s Child Powder and Bathe-to-Bathe brought about ovarian cancer.
In October 2020, the well being care big provided $100 million to settle 1,000 claims, based on Bloomberg. Specialists say that the corporate’s selections to recall 33,000 bottles of its child powder in October 2019 and cease promoting talc-based child powder within the U.S. in Might 2020 might strengthen plaintiffs’ circumstances and doubtlessly pave the best way for extra settlements.
In November 2020, the Missouri Supreme Courtroom refused to overturn a $4.69 billion verdict awarded to ladies with ovarian most cancers, although the courtroom decreased it to $2.1 billion, according to Reuters.
J&J mentioned it could put aside the cash, although it plans to attraction the decision to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom.
Zantac and Most cancers
In February 2020, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized Zantac lawsuits in a federal courtroom in Florida. As of Dec. 15, 2020, there have been 553 lawsuits pending within the multidistrict litigation.
Within the wake of Zantac remembers and a market withdrawal in April 2020, folks have filed lawsuits claiming the drug caused a wide variety of cancers.
Lawsuits declare ranitidine, the drug’s lively ingredient, is unstable and might kind excessive ranges of the potential carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) when uncovered to sure situations within the physique.