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Januvia & Byetta Lawsuit

Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate) and Byetta (exenatide) are two popular type-2 diabetes medications. Byetta was approved in 2005 and is a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1 agonist), while Januvia, a DPP-4 inhibitor, first received FDA approval in 2006. Since their approvals, both drugs have reached blockbuster status, raking in millions in profits. But both drugs have also been linked to serious, life-threatening side effects. Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Januvia, and Amylin, Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturers of Byetta, have respectively been named in Byetta & Januvia lawsuits.

On April 5, 2013, a group of plaintiffs filed a petition for multidistrict litigation (MDL) to be established for cases filed in federal courts where diabetes drugs like Januvia and Byetta are alleged to have caused pancreatic cancer and related injuries. The motion suggests the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California as an appropriate location for the MDL, where many Januvia and Byetta lawsuits are already pending. MDL which would join multiple Byetta, Victoza, Janumet, and Januvia lawsuit complaints into one court for the purpose of streamlining the pre-trial process, facilitating settlement negotiation, and/or helping to bring the cases to trial in an expedited fashion. Over 50 such cases have been filed in federal courts across the country, with the number expected to grow.

Side effects of Januvia and Byetta

Both diabetes medications have a long list of general and minor side effects, but legal complaints typically allege the most serious of Byetta and Januvia side effects.

Side effects most often referenced in Januvia lawsuits include:

  • Kidney failure, sometime severe enough to require dialysis
  • Severely low blood sugar, leading to confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, fast heart beat, headache, hunger, irritability, a jittery sensation, sweating, and weakness
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, that may be severe enough to cause death
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Byetta lawsuit plaintiffs commonly cite:

  • Acute necrotizing pancreatitis
  • Kidney (renal) damage or failure
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Byetta and Januvia lawsuit allegations

Dangerous drug lawsuits usually have certain elements in common; plaintiffs claim to have experienced similar injuries, and make similar allegations about the drug manufacturer’s liability and negligence in publicizing the drug’s risks. Merck & Co. manufactures Januvia, while Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company, as well as Bristol-Myers Squibb, which purchased Amylin for approximately $5.3 billion in 2012, are the targets of Byetta complaints.

Litigation for both diabetes medications makes similar allegations, including:

  • Failure to warn of severe side effects
  • Negligent manufacturing and marketing
  • Fraud
  • Fraudulent concealment
  • Breach of implied warranty
  • Breach of express warranty
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Manufacturing defect

Januvia and Byetta class action & multidistrict litigation

Januvia and Byetta lawsuits have been filed around the United States, and many plaintiffs are waiting for a possible next step: consolidation. Two of the most common forms of consolidated litigation are class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Class action lawsuits are uncommon in dangerous drug litigation, including cases involving Januvia and Byetta. In a class action lawsuit, all plaintiffs are grouped into one, and one or several individuals represent the entire class. This means that if the representatives win their case, all plaintiffs win; any settlement or jury verdict is divided among the parties. Likewise, if a representative loses his or her case, all plaintiffs lose. Because of this all-or-nothing outcome, cases – complaints, complications, allegations, and other details – must be virtually identical to one another.

In multidistrict litigation (MDL), plaintiffs from around the nation have their cases centralized into one court for pre-trial procedures, such as discovery. Consolidation allows for streamlined processes and helps avoid duplicate rulings from different judges. It also gives plaintiffs the opportunity to pool their resources, and work together to build stronger cases. However, unlike a class action lawsuit, multidistrict litigation allows each plaintiff to retain his or her individual rights – the right to negotiate a settlement, go to trial, and make other decisions.

Additionally, after pretrial preparations are complete, each MDL plaintiff is remanded back to his or her original court of filing for trial. Each plaintiff proceeds with his or her own case, in an individual trial. Because MDLs allow for plaintiff autonomy, lawyers for plaintiffs who have filed dangerous drug lawsuits often petition the court for multidistrict litigation.

Additionally, multicounty litigation (MCL) and mass torts are common; they work just like an MDL, but are consolidated on a state level.

Byetta and Januvia lawsuit settlements

For most drug lawsuits, settlement negotiations take place on a case-by-case basis and spike before MDL trials are slated to begin. Bellwether trials – the first cases tried in the MDL – are meant to establish the relative strength of the cases and the likely reactions of juries to the allegations and evidence. If a case resolves in favor of the plaintiff, pharmaceutical companies may be looking at significant damages payouts, in some cases reaching the hundreds of millions of dollars.

To date, Januvia and Byetta defendants – Merck, Amylin, Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb – have not made any significant, public offers to settle. However, with MDL looming on the horizon, it is possible that Januvia and Byetta lawsuit settlements may be negotiated in the future.

A Byetta or Januvia lawyer can help

A product liability attorney can help fight for your right to compensation and damages if you have been injured by the side effects of diabetes drugs like Januvia and Byetta. For many, taking these medications to control their blood sugar has led to a lifetime of complications—kidney failure, life-threatening pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and more.

No settlement or jury award can right these wrongs, but an experienced attorney can help win compensation you for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical costs and other damages suffered. Some of the most common requests for damages in a Byetta or Januvia lawsuit include:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Long-term medical care expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Permanent injury or disability