A panel of federal judges has centralized 15 Benicar Lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories in New Jersey federal court. Plaintiffs in these cases allege Benicar caused them severe gastrointestinal injuries which include chronic diarrhea, malnutrition, dehydration and sprue-like enteropathy.
JPML Centralizes 15 Suits Benicar Lawsuits
On April 3, a transfer order issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) said the 15 Benicar Lawsuits shared factual issues regarding the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries from the drug. The judges said another 23 cases are potential tag-along actions.
Most of the plaintiffs requested Ohio for their litigation; but the JPML decided that because both Daiichi and Forest are headquartered in New Jersey, most witnesses and relevant documents are likely to be found there. According to the judges who chose New Jersey, centralization there would also likely facilitate coordination with 40 other lawsuits involving Benicar and other drugs already pending in the state.
All of the complaints allege that Daiichi designed Benicar in a defective manner and failed to warn the public and medical communities that the drug could cause severe gastrointestinal injury. Forest is accused of marketing Benicar alongside Daiichi. [The case is In Re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, number 2606, in the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.]
On July 3, 2013, the FDA issued a warning which linked Benicar to sprue-like enteropathy, a condition causing severe and persistent diarrhea. The agency ordered Benicar’s makers to alter labels to include a warning about enteropathy. The FDA had, at that time, received at least 23 reports of late-onset diarrhea among Benicar users.
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