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Early Trials Selected for Growing Androgel Lawsuits

androgelEight Androgel lawsuits have been selected out of around 5,500 cases currently pending to serve as bellwether trials in the coordinated litigation. The bellwether trials are carefully selected to provide insight into how juries might respond to evidence and testimony in future trials. These early trials also can serve as a catalyst for settlement negotiations between plaintiffs and defendants in some cases.

Thousands of testosterone lawsuits pending

The judge that made the bellwether selections, U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, is currently overseeing multidistrict litigation involving thousands of Androgel lawsuits. The cases were coordinated into the MDL for the purpose of streamlining the early trial process and ensuring convenience and efficiency for all parties involved in the litigation. The MDL is assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Judge Kennelly signed an order on August 4, identifying the eight bellwether trials that will proceed. The first four involve allegations that use of Androgel led to myocardial infarction or stroke. The second four include claims that use of the product resulted in venous embolism, which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. The first trial is slated to begin in July 2017.

That first trial was filed by Jeffrey Konrad, who claims he suffered a myocardial infarction after using Androgel. That case will precede the following cases; Jesse Mitchell, Cecile Frost, Arthur Meyers, Froylan Garcia, Robert Nolte and Robert Rowley. Edward Cribbs is also listed as one of the first plaintiffs to take his case to trial. However, that decision is contingent on whether the defendants in the case are able to locate a sales representative and produce a deposition. If that does not occur, another lawsuit will take the place of Edward Cribbs. No order has been determined for the subsequent bellwether trials at this point.

Risks associated with testosterone

Androgel and other testosterone drugs were originally approved by the FDA to treat low testosterone levels caused by specific medical conditions. However, at the prompting of the drug manufacturers, the products have been increasingly used off-label to treat decreased testosterone levels associated with the natural aging process. Unfortunately, the benefits of these drugs for age-related testosterone drops do not outweigh the potentially dangerous risks that have been since associated with them.

Reports of men experiencing heart attacks and strokes after using Androgel and other testosterone products like Testim and Axiron have raised concerns among medical professionals and the FDA. In fact, the FDA issued a safety communication in March 2015, warning against use of these products for age-related testosterone reduction. The agency also required manufacturers of the products to add warnings to the product labels, alerting users to the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In the meantime, men that have been injured after taking these drugs have begun to file testosterone therapy lawsuits against the manufacturers of the products. The plaintiffs claim they were not aware of the potential risks associated with the testosterone products, which left them unknowingly vulnerable to dangerous and even deadly injuries. The current bellwether selections only include trials involving Androgel, since that product makes up the majority of the lawsuits currently pending.

  1. Lexis Legal News, Testosterone MDL Judge Picks First 8 Androgel Bellwether Cases, http://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/10329/testosterone-mdl-judge-picks-1st-8-androgel-bellwether-cases
  2. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, In Re: Androgel Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2545, Transfer Order, http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2545-Initial_Transfer-05-14.pdf
  3. FDA, FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA Cautions about Using Testosterone Products for Low Testosterone Due to Aging; Requires Labeling Change to Inform of Possible Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke with Risk, http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm436259.htm
  4. USA Today, FDA Warns that Testosterone Increases Heart Risks, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/03/03/fda-testosterone-warning/24326849/