The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation reports that there are now 6,121 lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against a number of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) manufacturers. The MDL was established 2014 and names drug companies such as AbbVie, Besins, Eli Lily and GlaxoSmithKline, and includes products AndroGel, Testim and Axiron, among others, as Beasley Allen has previously explained. The lawsuits were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois in Chicago under U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.
Plaintiffs allege the drugmakers failed to warn that the products have been linked to an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular effects such as heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death, especially in older men. Plaintiffs further claim that the companies falsely marketed TRT for age-related low testosterone, even though the drug has never been approved for such use. TRT products in general are only approved for men with low levels of testosterone due to injury or disease, a condition called hypogonadism.
The first two bellwether cases in the MDL were tried last year and rendered favorable plaintiffs verdicts totaling more than $290 million. Following the first trial in June, the jury awarded Jesse Mitchell $150 million in punitive damages after finding that AbbVie fraudulently marketed AndroGel by creating a condition dubbed “Low T,” as Beasley Allen has reported. The company advertised the product directly to men as a kind of fountain of youth for symptoms such as low libido, weight gain and mood swings.
The jury sent a strong message with the punitive damages only verdict late last month. But because they did not find AbbVie liable for Mitchell’s heart attack, Judge Kennelly ordered a new trial, finding the verdict was “internally inconsistent,” according to Law360. The judge ruled punitive damages couldn’t be delivered when there were no compensatory damages.
A second verdict that came four months after Mitchell’s also found in favor of the plaintiff. The jury awarded $140 million in punitive damages and $140,000 in compensatory damages to Jeffrey Konrad, who suffered a heart attack while using Androgel.
If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack or stroke while taking testosterone supplements, or if someone you love has died, you can contact Matt Teague, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Product Liability Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Matt.Teague@beasleyallen.com. More information about testosterone replacement drugs or replacement therapy can be found at our Low-T page.
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation