A New Ozempic Litigation?
A New Ozempic Litigation?: Mass Tort Special Report from Legalcalls.com by Attorney Jeff Keiser.
The Buzz Begins – Ozempic
We were able to attend another fantastic webinar put on by the good people of Mass Torts Made Perfect, this time regarding the new Ozempic litigation that is starting to cause a bit of buzz.
Again, these webinars are great opportunities for just about any lawyer in the world of mass torts, and they’re free, so check them out. More than 250 people attended, so the interest is real.
A New Ozempic Litigation?
With Ozempic, we have to be careful about which case we’re talking about. There is a patent MDL that is still in progress, and there are other side effects from the medication that have seen several individual suits.
What we’re talking about here specifically is gastroparesis caused by Ozempic, and as such, we need the normal info on intake – use and diagnosis. There’s more, but that is the best way to start.
Find a person that took Ozempic (or a handful of other RD1 inhibitor drugs) that became hospitalized due to gastroparesis.
This is very early in the case, but everyone believes this has all the potential to become a very important case going forward.
Defendants here are Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, but the Novo cases may be stronger due to specific labeling concerns. Either manufacturer may be a good suit, but this is part of what we simply don’t know yet.
Levin Papantonio is not taking Eli Lilly cases anymore, but that could change at any point in time, and other presenters on the call were not so quick to exclude them.
One thing everyone agrees on is that there should have been stronger warnings against gastroparesis. And with both defendants’ stocks rising more than 25% in 2023, these are defendants with the deepest of pockets.
In terms of intake, the presenters all agreed that we needed to start with use of Ozempic and a MD’s diagnosis of gastroparesis. Other diagnoses like gastric stasis, gastric paralysis, or gastric obstruction may be viable cases, but we’re really after a solid gastroparesis diagnosis.
For a case to be viable, as of today, they are also limiting their plaintiffs to those that were hospitalized as a result, noting that we need to see multiple ER visits or some kind of inpatient care.
Normal side effects like nausea, vomiting or the like will not be sufficient. Neither will a case that only involves gallbladder removal. Even if causation could be established, the damages are simply too low to pursue.
The firms presenting this call also agreed – liver injuries and pancreatic cancer do not have the causation we need. We need to show real and actual harm.
Not It’s Intended Use
Another issue is that the drug was intended for diabetics and has been used off label by doctors for weight loss and other reasons.
Gastroparesis is indeed a side effect of diabetes, but only becomes an issue over longer periods of time.
The presenters noted that diabetic callers should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There is no need to exclude all diabetics currently.
This is a new case, but one that is likely to develop into a big one. Everyone assumes an MDL will be in the works soon, even if no one has applied to the JPML yet.
There’s only been one case filed in federal court as of today, so this will take a little time. The main headline at this point is to be careful with intakes and leads – we’re looking for strong cases with solid damages.
Beyond that, stay tuned as this one will certainly have a few twists and turns before we can try to come up with any solid predictions.
Craig H. Alinder, Vice President