A common type of drug-related product liability claim involves pharmaceutical drugs that, although properly manufactured, cause dangerous side effects that may result in injury or death. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, with a wealth of product liability experience under its belt, is keenly tracking the outcome of the Benicar lawsuits, which may be consolidated this year and are awaiting pre-trial proceedings .
Benicar (generically known as olmesartan) is a prescription drug used to regulate blood pressure. In 2013, the FDA issued a warning that the drug may cause a severe gastrointestinal condition– the symptoms of which may not appear until months, or even years, after using Benicar. Lawsuits filed in 2014 alleged that the drug was defective and posed unreasonably dangerous health risks to patients. One such lawsuit (Deborah Dirksen and Richard A. Dirksen vs. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.) noted that “Benicar is frequently prescribed for six months to a year or more, but that clinical trials for the drug only lasted up to three months.”
A motion to consolidate 15 federal cases and 30 state cases in New Jersey —for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio—was filed before the U.S. Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in late 2014. Nine of the 15 federal cases are already pending in Ohio. 2015 will be a very telling year for the Benicar lawsuits, notes Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.
Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.