Lipitor Lawsuits Over Diabetes Mount Quickly in Federal MDL

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted April 22, 2014


A growing number of women throughout the United States are pursuing Lipitor lawsuits against Pfizer, after being diagnosed with diabetes following use of the blockbuster cholesterol drug. It appears that more than 400 lawsuits have been filed in the federal court system in recent months, and it is ultimately expected that several thousand cases will be included in the Lipitor diabetes litigation.

Only two months ago, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) agreed to establish centralized proceedings in the federal court system for all product liability lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide over Pfizer’s failure to adequately warn women about the risk of diabetes from Lipitor side effects, centralizing the cases before U.S. District Judge Richard K. Gergel in the District of South Carolina for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

At the time the Lipitor MDL was established on February 18, the U.S. JPML transferred 56 cases pending at that time to Judge Gergel. However, according to an updated case list (PDF) released on April 15, there are already 464 cases pending in the MDL, and the rate of new complaints does not appear to be slowing.

All of the lawsuits involve similar allegations that Pfizer failed to adequately research their blockbuster medication or provide adequate warnings for women about the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially among otherwise healthy women who did not have other risk factors that may lead to the development of the disease.

Organization of Lipitor MDL Proceeding

As the number of lawsuits filed continues to increase at a rapid rate, Judge Gergel has established the organizational structure for the MDL, which is designed to better manage the coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings for the large number of similar cases.

While such proceedings are often referred to as a Lipitor class action lawsuit, each complaint remains a separate and individual action. As part of the coordinated litigation, it is expected that Judge Gergel will select a small group of test cases for early “bellwether” trials.

Such representative cases are often selected in complex pharmaceutical litigation to help women throughout the country gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be similar to what will be offered in a large number of cases. While the outcome of these bellwether trials are not binding on other cases, they will certainly influence eventual Lipitor diabetes settlements that may be reached by Pfizer to avoid hundreds of individual trials across the country.

The Lipitor lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to accept new cases for women diagnosed with diabetes after use of the drug. It appears that Pfizer placed their desire for profits before consumer safety by withholding information from consumers and the medical community about the diabetes risk with Lipitor. As a result, financial compensation may be available. To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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