October 12, 2015 — The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) has denied a second motion to create a centralized federal litigation for dozens of lawsuits involving Eli Lilly’s antidepressant Cymbalta.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys filed the first motion back in August 2014, requesting the centralization of 28 lawsuits into one federal court in California. In December 2014, the JPML rejected the motion because there were not enough lawsuits.
In July 2015, attorneys filed another motion to centralize 41 lawsuits in Indiana, where Eli Lilly is headquartered. Despite the fact that over 250 individuals have joined the litigation, judges denied (PDF) the motion and said no “significant change in circumstances” warranted centralization into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL).
The lawsuits will now proceed individually in various district courts around the nation. However, the JPML noted that informal coordination and cooperation is still practical because all of the plaintiffs are only represented by four law firms.
Furthermore, significant progress has already been made in discovery proceedings. One case that went to trial in August ended with the jury clearing Eli Lilly of wrongdoing.
All of the lawsuits accuse Eli Lilly of failing to adequately warn about the risk of severe withdrawal when stopping Cymbalta. The label states that withdrawal occurs in “greater than or equal to 1%” of patients, when studies have shown the number is closer to 50% of patients, with 10% of cases classified as severe.
Withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta may include:
- “Brain zaps”
- Memory lapses
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased anxiety
- Stomach cramping