Tag Archives: Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation

History of the Lipitor Lawsuit

History of Lipitor

Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering medication, belonging to a class of drugs known as statins. Statins have been used since the 1980’s to lower cholesterol.

Statins work by blocking a specific enzyme in the liver, which stops the body from producing more cholesterol. Statins usually will lower cholesterol levels after a two week course of medication, but are typically taken for longer periods of time, even years.

Lipitor is also called atorvastatin, which is the generic name of the drug. Lipitor was originally developed Warner-Lambert, a pharmaceutical company.

Warner-Lambert entered into a selling agreement with Pfizer, Inc., who would market and sell the drug. Pfizer later acquired Warner-Lambert in 2000.

Lipitor was given FDA approval for public use in late 1996, and first sold in 1997. It quickly became the most popular drug of all time, outselling all other pharmaceutical medicines of any kind. In the first 14.5 years after it’s release, Lipitor grossed over $125 billion in sales.

Lipitor raked in 20 to 25% of Pfizer’s overall sales for years.

Part of the success of Lipitor was because it is a particularly potent statin, and is very efficient in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It is sometimes nicknamed the “turbostatin.”

In addition, there are claims that Lipitor was aggressively marketed, downplaying the risks and dangerous Lipitor side effects, which may account for some of its success as well. For more on the Lipitor side effects, click here.

Problems are seen with Lipitor Side Effects

There have been many prior studies on statin use and the risk of type II diabetes, but it was until 2004 that a study specifically examining Lipitor and type II diabetes was published.

This study was published in Circulation, and it examined the relationship between Lipitor and blood sugar. It found that people who take long term courses of Lipitor can have worsened ability to control blood sugar levels. The authors of this study stated that Lipitor decreased “glycemic control.”

With uncontrolled blood sugar levels, people taking Lipitor can eventually develop type II diabetes.

Another study published by the Lancet in 2010 confirmed the association between Lipitor and other statins with type II diabetes. These researchers found that taking Lipitor leads to a significantly increased the users chances of developing type II diabetes.

Another study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published in 2011 confirmed: Lipitor increases the users’ risk of contracting type II diabetes significantly.

These and other medical studies caught the attention of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA makes Changes in Lipitor Safety Labels

Lipitor was approved for sale in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2012 when the FDA ordered changes to be made to the safety label of Lipitor regarding the Lipitor diabetes risk.

On February 28th, 2012 the FDA issued a mandate that the drug companies must add another safety label to Lipitor and atorvastatin, warning that this medicine may significantly increase one’s likelihood of developing type II diabetes.

Unlike in other countries, Pfizer chose not to disclose the diabetes risk on the Lipitor bottles directly. Instead Pfizer placed a warning that the drug can potentially cause increased blood sugar levels.

However, claimants in the Lipitor lawsuit argue that this warning was not strong enough, and unclear. The Lipitor type II diabetes warning Pfizer added in response to the FDA mandate was worded as follows:

“Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including Lipitor.”

The Lipitor Lawsuit

As Lipitor users across the U.S. began to develop type II diabetes from taking Lipitor, a public outcry began. Lipitor was released 16 years before Pfizer began to warn about Lipitor type II diabetes, a warning that came all too late for thousands of Americans.

If Pfizer had been more forthcoming about the risks of type II diabetes to both patients and the healthcare providers prescribing this medication, preventative action could have been taken.

For example, healthcare providers could have started monitoring their patient’s blood glucose level to see if a problem was developing. Lipitor users themselves could have made life style changes had they known of their increased risk of contracting diabetes.

The first Lipitor lawsuit was filed in the District of South Carolina by Evalina Smalls. Evaline began taking Lipitor in 1999 to prevent heart disease.

Despite her healthy lifestyle and otherwise low risk for diabetes, Evalina developed type II diabetes as a result of taking Lipitor. She alleges that she is now at risk of the complications associated with type II diabetes, including blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, and yes, heart disease.

Evaline Smalls was not the only one affected, and the Lipitor lawsuits slowly started to increase. The Lipitor MDL , or Lipitor multidistrict litigation was created this year, as the number climbed from just a few Lipitor type II diabetes claims, to over 700. The Lipitor MDL will effectively organize the smiliar Lipitor type II diabetes claims and expedite pretrial procedures, including early settlements.

The Lipitor lawsuit is expected to go to trial in July of 2015.

We also assist people with a Risperdal Lawsuit if they suffer from gynoclamastia.

Hurt by Lipitor?

If you have been affected by Lipitor type II diabetes, you may be eligible for compensation with a Lipitor lawsuit. The medical bills, risks, and pain and suffering associated with Lipitor type II diabetes are not to be underestimated.

If you have been hurt by Lipitor, it is vital that you contact our team for legal representation. Our Lipitor lawyers are experienced, caring, and well-qualified to handle your case.

Call today for a free case evaluation to see if you may have a viable claim for a Lipitor lawsuit.

1-800-499-6652

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The Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation

The Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation

The Honorable Richard M. Gergel.

The Lipitor type II diabetes claims have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), to be heard in the District of South Carolina by the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel.

This is good news to the plaintiffs in the Lipitor lawsuit, who have been petitioning for a multidistrict litigation since early 2013.

Let’s first gain an understanding of what an MDL is.

What is Multidistrict Litigation?

A multidistrict litigation, abbreviated as an MDL, is a a way of organizing legal claims that are similar in nature. They may share at least one common complaint, common plaintiffs, and/or a common defendant.

As is the case with Lipitor, sometimes there are hundreds or even thousands of lawsuit claims that are very similar in nature. These claims may be spread throughout the United States, in multiple states and court districts, which can make things complicated.

A multidistrict litigation is a way of grouping similar claims, and proceeding with the pre-trial steps to litigation in one courtroom, instead of several across the country.

Both the plaintiffs, and the defendant have a right to petition for a multidistrict litigation.

Who Decides if an MDL should be Created?

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is a group of seven federal judges, and it is up to them to determine if an MDL is necessary. Their role is to make decisions on two primary issues:

1. Are the claims that are being brought forth alike enough to create an MDL?

For example: Are the claimants suing for the same reasons? Is the complaint being made against the same defendant? (In the case of Lipitor, the defendant is Pfizer.)

2. What judge, judges, or district should hear the case?

Once the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decides to move forward and create an MDL, they will then choose an appropriate district and judge to hear the case. This is often based off of factors like where the plaintiffs or defendant are located.

In the case of the Lipitor lawsuit, many of the original complaints were filed in the District of South Carolina, which is where the new Lipitor MDL is located.

How an MDL Works

Consolidating claims into an MDL saves everybody time, money and effort. Pfizer no longer has to defend itself in multiple districts across the nation, and the plaintiffs now have the added benefit of having one judge and one court being experts in their case.

It is important to understand that an MDL is only for pre-trial proceedings and motions.

The claims are still considered individually in their original district once (and if) they actually go to court, but grouping them together for the pre-trial proceedings is simply more efficient for the court system, and often the plaintiffs and defendants involved as well.

Here, in the pre-trial stages,  the claims might be dismissed if the judge does not feel they are valid and fit for litigation. Or it is possible to reach a settlement at this point in the process. Large corporations often would rather settle than continue to trial.

It is the plaintiff’s right to either accept, or reject any settlement (compensation) offered at this point in the process. If they are unsatisfied with the settlement offered, they can then take the claim to court in their original district.

Thus, if the pre-trial process is complete, and the case is going to move on to trial, the claim will be transferred back to its original court district. At this point the defendant is no longer negotiating the settlement; any compensation offered at this stage will be determined by the judge and jury.

The Lipitor MDL

The Lipitor petition for an MDL was originally denied by the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, back in 2013.

At that time there were only a few plaintiffs, and although it certainly appeared that the number of lawsuits would increase, the panel decided not to approve an MDL on the basis of possible future lawsuit claims.

However, the claims of Lipitor type II diabetes continued to pour in, the number increasing from just a few, to now nearly 1,000 claims.

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has now looked into it again, and decided to create a Lipitor MDL, despite resistance from Pfizer. The panel concluded, “…centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”

Read the official release from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation here. 

The Lipitor type II diabetes claims have now been centralized under the District of South Carolina; the cases are to be heard by the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel for “consolidated pretrial proceedings.”

Why an MDL is Beneficial to You

The Lipitor multidistrict litigation is a way of handling hundreds of similar claims, without making use of the class action lawsuit method.

Class action lawsuits are a single lawsuit filed from multiple plaintiffs, and any compensation award is then divided evenly between the plaintiffs. The Lipitor lawsuit is not technically a class action lawsuit, which is a common misconception.

Here why this is good news to you if you are considering filing a Lipitor lawsuit:

In an MDL, each case that goes to court is considered individually. This means that settlements are award to the individual, with respect to their unique situation and medical needs. Some claimants have been hurt more than others, and will require higher amounts of compensation to cover their medical costs and losses.

Lipitor attorneyIn a class action lawsuit, sometimes so many plaintiffs join that after legal fees, individuals are issued very small checks that have been divided among the masses. This won’t happen with an MDL. Instead, your own individual needs will be taken into consideration by a court of law, and the settlement awarded will be what the court considers fair.

This is another reason why it is so crucial to hire the right legal counsel to represent you in your Lipitor claim. Working with an experienced, well-informed Lipitor lawyer is the best thing you can do in order to get the compensation you deserve, and begin to heal.

Here at Consumer Claims Center of America we are proud to be working with the best pharmaceutical injury attorneys in the field, and if you are eligible for a claim we are confident that we can get you a maximum Lipitor settlement.

Our free consultation is simple and easy. Fill out the online Lipitor Lawsuit Form located on the right of this page, or simply call the number below to begin your Lipitor Lawsuit today.

1-800-499-6652

We are also assisting those with gynoclamastia that may have a Risperdal Lawsuit

 

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