Propecia Class Action Lawsuit vs. MDL Consolidation

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted April 17, 2012


An order was issued this week by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, consolidating all Propecia lawsuits filed in federal district courts throughout the United States. Because the cases will be centralized before one judge, many people confuse this process with a Propecia class action lawsuit. However, each claim filed by men who suffered erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems from Propecia will remain an individual lawsuit.

There are currently only nine lawsuits filed in six different federal district courts that will be consolidated in the Propecia MDL, but that number is expected to increase in the coming months and years.

As the JPML wrote in an order (PDF) issued April 16:

On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization of all actions in the Eastern District of New York will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. All the actions involve allegations that Propecia (finasteride) causes persistent sexual dysfunction in a subset of men who took the drug, even after they discontinued use. Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.

During pretrial proceedings, all claims filed in the federal court system will be assigned to U.S. District Judge John Gleeson for coordinated management. While there are many similarities between the MDL process and how a class action lawsuit for Propecia sexual problems would be handled, they are actually very different.

Unlike a class action, the litigation will not be tried through a class representative. Rather, each plaintiff will still bear the burden of establishing that their sexual problems were caused by Propecia and Merck’s failure to adequately warn about the risks.

As part of the Propecia MDL process, discovery will be coordinated and a small group of cases will likely be prepared for early trial dates, known as bellwether cases because they allow the parties to gauge how juries are likely to respond to similar evidence and testimony that will be introduced throughout the litigation. However, if a Propecia settlement or other resolution is not reached during pretrial proceedings, each claim may be remanded back to the federal district court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date.


The Propecia lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent men throughout the United States who are pursuing a lawsuit after experiencing problems like:

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Loss of Libido or Sexual Desire
  • Impotence, Infertility or Low Sperm Count
  • Male Breast Growth
  • Testicular Pain
  • Depression

The Propecia litigation remains in the very early stages, and the number of cases is expected to continue to increase as more men step forward. If Merck had provided accurate warnings about the risk of serious and long-term sexual dysfunction, which may continue long after use of the medication is stopped, many of these men could have avoided these devastating injuries.

To review a potential lawsuit for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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