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Judges Centralize Benicar Lawsuits in New Jersey MDL

Judges Centralize Benicar Lawsuits in New Jersey MDL

April 6, 2015 — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has centralized 35 lawsuits involving intestinal side effects of Benicar into one federal court in New Jersey.

The order coordinates 35 lawsuits in 23 district courts under Judge Robert B. Kugler in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2606).

At the state level in New Jersey, another 40 lawsuits have been centralized under Judge Nelson Johnson.

All of the lawsuits accuse Japanese drug-maker Daiichi Sankyo of failing to warn about gastrointestinal side effects of olmesartan, the active ingredient in Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor.

Intestinal side effects of Benicar:

  • Sprue-like enteropathy
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Collagenous colitis

Daiichi Sankyo opposed centralizing the litigation in federal court, but the JPML was unconvinced by the drug-maker’s arguments. However, the JPML compromised by selecting a federal court in New Jersey, where Daiichi is headquartered.

According to the Transfer Order (PDF) issued on April 3:

“The present number of involved cases and districts is sufficient to warrant centralization, especially given the complexity of the issues involved and the likelihood of at least some foreign discovery.”

Although Benicar has been on the market for over a decade, warnings about gastrointestinal side effects were not issued until recently. In July 2013, the FDA warned about “clear evidence” linking Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy.

Sprue-like enteropathy typically causes watery diarrhea, malnutrition, severe weight-loss, and damage to the lining of the intestines. Unfortunately, because the label on Benicar lacked warnings about this side effect, many people were misdiagnosed and continued to suffer debilitating symptoms for years.

Do I have a Benicar Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Benicar induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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