Benicar Class Action-Like Centralization in MDL for Diarrhea Injury Cases
As a growing number of individuals throughout the United States continue to file a Benicar lawsuit, alleging that the blood pressure drug caused them to suffer chronic diarrhea injuries, a request has been filed in the federal court system to centralize the cases for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
While such consolidation is often referred to as a Benicar class action, there are important differences between an MDL and class action lawsuit.
Benicar MDL vs. Class Action
There are currently several dozen lawsuits over Benicar pending throughout the country, which all involve nearly identical allegations that users developed a medical condition known as sprue-like enteropathy, which may cause:
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Weigh Loss
- Gastrointestinal Damage
- Villous Atrophy
- Celiac Disease Misdiagnosis
The Benicar class action lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been investigating potential claims for individuals throughout the United States over the past year, and it is widely expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of cases will ultimately be filed against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories.
If the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agrees to establish a Benicar MDL, lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country will be transferred to one judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial litigation.
Such consolidation eliminates the need for duplicative discovery to be conducted in hundreds, or even thousands of different cases, and avoids potentially contradictory rulings from different judges that may lead to uncertainty in the cases.
While the management of the litigation is similar to a class action, each claim will remain an individual lawsuit.
Unlike a class action, where all claims would be tried through a class representative, each plaintiff in an MDL will still have the burden of proving that their injury was caused by Benicar and establishing the amount of damages to which they are entitled. Since the circumstances surrounding the use of the medication and gastrointestinal problems will be different in each case, the claims cannot be judged based on the same set of facts.
An MDL judge will preside over coordinated discovery into common issues in the cases, including the exchange of documents and depositions of common fact witnesses in the case. As part of the proceedings, the judge will often select a small group of cases, known as “bellwether” cases, to be prepared for early trial dates. These claims will go through case-specific discovery and expert witness discovery regarding the link between Benicar and the diarrhea problems.
While the outcomes of any early bellwether trials are not binding on other plaintiffs, they are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the Benicar litigation.
If Benicar settlements are not reached following a bellwether program, each individual claim would be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it originally should have been filed for a separate trial date.
As the litigation continues to move forward, the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to review potential claims for individuals who may be entitled to financial compensation as a result of the drug makers’ failure to adequately warn consumers and the medical community.
To learn more about the lawsuits or find out if you, a friend or family member may be entitled to a settlement, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.