Several products liability attorneys say that the recent appearance of lawsuits nationwide against the manufacturers of testosterone therapy drugs indicates the potential for multidistrict litigation and possibly a new mass tort.
Many of the current suits filed in federal courts across the country are against Abbott Laboratories—maker of the topical testosterone therapy drug AndroGel—which lawyers say has been the dominant producer of testosterone therapy drugs on the market.
Allegations have been made that testosterone therapy drugs contribute to heart attacks, strokes, embolisms and death in male users. Stephen A. Sheller, founder of Sheller P.C., said his office is currently getting increased calls and evaluating cases related to testosterone therapy products designed to treat low testosterone levels, or “low T,” in men.
“It’s a real problem,” Sheller said. “Another drug hitting the market, another disaster.”
“We’re getting cases and have been talking to lawyers from other parts of the country,” Sheller added. “I predict it will be a mass tort. From what we see happening and the calls we’re getting, it looks like it’s a serious problem.”
While there is no mass tort program currently in development for testosterone products in Philadelphia, if a significant number of filings emerge, a mass tort could be considered, according to Stanley Thompson, director of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas’ Complex Litigation Center.
Thompson said that mass tort qualification varies by litigation, but generally the court looks to have a case listing of at least 100.
“Generally we’re looking for many cases,” Thompson said. “It varies … we’ve had some with 7,500 cases and some with 100 cases.”
Thompson added that whether a grouping of cases becomes a mass tort is ultimately left to the discretion of Administrative Judge John W. Herron.
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‘Low T’ Drug Cases Could Be Next MDL, Mass Tort, The Legal Intelligencer/Law.com, March 4, 2014 (signup required)