As the “Low T” litigation progresses, there have been some new developments lately in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which is centralized in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois. The litigation is currently at a phase where plaintiffs and defendants are selecting the first cases to go to trial as representative cases of the mass tort. These cases are referred to as “bellwether” cases and are an important part in the progression of the litigation.
A “bellwether” case will be tried before Judge Matthew F. Kennelly and a jury at a date in the future and will give both plaintiffs and defendants and indication as to how similar cases to that trial would play out in a trial. This is crucial for determining whether or not there will be a settlement from the defendants and will dictate the strategy they will pursue.
However, unlike most other mass torts, this litigation involves several defendants after it was expanded to include cases against the following manufacturers/low t drugs:
This gives rise to more challenges than a 1 or 2 defendant MDL, and especially in the selection of bellwether cases since there may be several diverging defense strategies at play.
Why Are Low T Lawsuits Being Filed?
As noted in previous articles, these lawsuits involve allegations that the respective low t therapy taken by plaintiffs or loved ones of the plaintiffs caused strokes and heart attacks that lead to hospitalizations and serious injuries. All lawsuits filed in the MDL contain similar allegations that had they received sufficient warning about the risks of taking low testosterone therapy, they would not have taken the treatment.
Allegations also suggest that the marketing of low t replacement drugs by the manufacturers caused self diagnosis. The FDA’s approval for Low T drugs came for the indication of treating a condition of extremely low testosterone, hypogodanism. This diagnosis can only come after a blood test. In the many lawsuits filed against the manufacturers, most men did not suffer from hypogodanism, and allege that the advertising lead them to request the treatment from their doctors.
What’s Next For The Litigation?
The first trial date was scheduled to begin in October 2016, however that will be contingent on the selection of bellwether trials. We will keep you posted on developments of the selection process as they are made public.