A group of drug manufacturers including Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and AbbVie
Inc. are supporting a bid to create a new mass tort program in Pennsylvania
state court to consolidate a number of cases alleging that certain testosterone-containing
drugs caused strokes and heart attacks. In a summary filed in the Philadelphia
Court of Common Pleas earlier this month, attorneys for Endo, AbbVie (later
purchased by Endo), and GlaxoSmithKline LLC endorsed a motion filed in
February by plaintiffs requesting that roughly 30 pending products liability
cases be consolidated. Golomb & Honik, P.C. is co-representing the
plaintiffs in this litigation.
From a practical perspective, consolidation makes sense for both the plaintiffs
and the defendants. The consolidation will both ease discovery and allow
for more effective coordination with lawyers handling a related MDL program
in federal court in Illinois.
The first lawsuits alleging that testosterone-containing products caused
injury began surfacing in March 2014 in Philadelphia. Plaintiffs alleged
that Auxilium Pharmaceuticals’ Testim gel and AbbVie’s Androgel
caused heart attacks in two men. The suits accuse the companies of failing
to properly test the safety of the products, as well as concealing the
potential dangers associated with their use. Furthermore, the plaintiffs
argue that the drugmakers wrongfully pushed aggressive advertising campaigns
to convince consumers that symptoms associated with normal aging were
actually symptoms of a “disease” or “syndrome”
called “Low T” (low testosterone).
The lawsuits were filed after the FDA announced that it would be investigating
the possible increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in men
using testosterone replacement drugs.
The case is
Robert Hoehl et al. v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al. (case number 140301684) in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County,
Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs are represented by the D’Onofrio Firm,
Ross Feller Casey, LLP,
Golomb & Honik, P.C., Anapol Weiss, Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck PC, Fodera
& Long, Lopez McHugh LLP, Schachter Hendy & Johnson, and Matthews