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Preliminary Discovery Plan Outlined for Testosterone Drug Lawsuits

androgel packageAfter the serious risks of testosterone replacement products came to light about nine months ago, testosterone drug lawsuits have been piling up against the manufacturers. About 200 of those cases have been centralized into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois before the Honorable Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.

The Judge recently issued a case management order that details the steps the parties must go through for pre-trial discovery. It also outlines specific procedures in the litigation.

All of the lawsuits proceeding in the MDL share similar allegations and complaints against various manufacturers. Despite the diversity of the manufacturers and the drugs involved in the cases, they have all been consolidated to share pre-trial proceedings. Following the discovery process, a small group of bellwether cases will be selected for early trial dates. The outcome of these trials is not binding upon the other pending cases, however they serve to inform the parties of the potential jury reactions. In some cases, significant jury verdicts may convince defendants to offer settlements. Any cases that are not resolved following the bellwether trials will be remanded to their home districts for trial.

Testosterone drug lawsuits

According to Judge Kennelly’s case management order dated August 25, 2014, the defendants involved in the MDL will have no more than 45 days to make initial disclosures available. These disclosures are expected to include lists of individuals who played key roles in the development and marketing of the testosterone replacement products, in addition to information about the location of documents that pertain to the cases. Those documents and potential witnesses may offer revealing information to the jurors selected for the bellwether trials.

The Judge also issued a protective order on September 1. This set forth the procedures for the handling of confidential documents and other confidential information. For example, the plaintiffs’ personal information and some internal documents from the testosterone replacement products’ manufacturers will fall under these guidelines. Plaintiffs and defendants must both follow these procedures.

The parties named in the testosterone drug lawsuits will stay busy preparing for a status conference later in September. They expect to engage in negotiations regarding the Plaintiff Fact Sheet (PFS). Each plaintiff must fulfill document requests and answer case-specific questions contained within the PFS. In all likelihood, Judge Kennelly will issue another case management order regarding the PFS prior to the next status conference.

More Androgel lawsuits expected to join the MDL

The growing number of Androgel lawsuits and claims against other Low T manufacturers came on the heels of an FDA announcement in January of 2014. In the announcement, the FDA informed consumers and healthcare providers that it was undertaking an exhaustive review of the many adverse event reports on heart attacks submitted by men who used testosterone therapy products.

Specifically, patients have been noted to have an increased risk of cardiovascular problems that may prove deadly. These side effects reportedly include heart attacks and stroke. Research is ongoing; however, preliminary reports appear to substantiate these risks. A study published in PLOSOne earlier in 2014 suggested that testosterone therapy can double the heart attack risk in men.

  1. WebMD, Low Testosterone Therapy: Risks and Benefits,

  2. Healthline News, FDA Investigates the Safety of Testosterone Drugs for ‘Low T’,