Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) are currently facing at least 80 lawsuits that have been filed on behalf of patients who developed vision problems after using this medication.
Lawyers involved in these cases are predicting that hundreds of additional Elmiron lawsuits will be filed in the coming months. These attorneys are currently working with federal judges who are overseeing the Elmiron litigation in order to determine the venue where these upcoming cases will be tried.
Elmiron Linked to Pigmentary Maculopathy and Retinal Toxicity
The first evidence linking Elmiron to an increased risk of eye damage was uncovered in 2018. Opthamologists in Georgia began to notice that some of their patients with interstitial cystitis who were being treated with Elmiron were developing vision problems that were atypical for patients in their age group.
Additional studies were able to determine that the eye damage found among Elmiron users was being caused by pigmentary maculopathy. Although pigmentary maculopathy is the most common cause of blindness in the U.S., researchers discovered that the form of the disease that was being discovered among Elmiron users was unique to patients who were treated with the interstitial cystitis drug.
Over the coming months, additional studies confirmed the risk of pigmentary maculopathy and other types of eye damage among patients who had used Elmiron. These studies found that Elmiron could cause retinal toxicity, putting patients who used the drug at risk of vision loss, permanent eye damage, and even blindness.
Janssen, J&J Face Additional Lawsuits Over Elmiron Eye Damage
In May 2020, the first lawsuit against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson was filed on behalf of a woman who was diagnosed with permanent retinal damage caused by Elmiron toxicity. During the remainder of the year, roughly 80 additional lawsuits were filed on behalf of patients with vision loss caused by the interstitial cystitis drug.
The majority of the Elmiron lawsuits so far have been filed in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania, where Janssen and Johnson & Johnson are headquartered. Anticipating that hundreds of additional lawsuits involving Elmiron will soon be filed, lawyers representing the plaintiffs in these cases are currently trying to decide whether they should be consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in one of these two states. MDLs are a type of litigation in which multiple lawsuits are consolidated in a single court in order to speed up the discovery and trial process.
Some plaintiffs’ attorneys have argued that the Elmiron MDL should be located in New Jersey federal court. Because the New Jersey court’s first case involving Elmiron is scheduled to go to trial in 2022, the litigation in that state has advanced far enough that some attorneys feel it would be the best venue for additional Elmiron lawsuits.
Other attorneys have argued that the federal judge in Pennsylvania who would oversee the Elmiron cases in that state has significant experience handling MDLs. Because of this experience, these attorneys feel that Pennsylvania would be the best forum for the hundreds of upcoming Elmiron lawsuits that are expected to be filed.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs in the Elmiron litigation say that they are ready to file hundreds of additional cases, but are waiting for the courts to determine whether New Jersey or Pennsylvania would be the best venue for the MDL. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which determines the venue for MDLs, has scheduled a hearing for early December in order to begin to determine whether one of these two states would be the best site for the Elmiron litigation.
Patients with Eye Damage Caused by Elmiron May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one used Elmiron to treat interstitial cystitis and have been diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, retinal damage, blindness, or other types of eye damage, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. The first step in taking legal action is to consult with an attorney who is involved in the Elmiron litigation in order to learn more about whether you qualify to file a case.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend are currently accepting clients who have suffered vision problems caused by Elmiron. For a free legal consultation about your case and to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, you can contact our law firm by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by filling out our free case evaluation form on the right side of this page.
After we receive your information, a member of our staff will contact you to obtain any additional information that we need and help you schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys about your case.