JPML Consolidates 55 Weight Loss Lawsuits

by | Feb 22, 2024

On February 2, 2024, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated 55 pending weight loss lawsuits involving the drugs Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus, manufactured by Novo Nordisk A/S, and Trulicity and Mounjaro, manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co. The cases will be centralized in the U.S.D.C. for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and overseen by the Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter.

The drugs at issue in the weight loss lawsuits belong to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptides-1 receptor agonists or GLP-1 RAs and are intended to treat type-2 diabetes but they are increasingly being used for weight management, resulting in serious side effects that include gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), ileus, intestinal obstruction and other gastrointestinal injuries. The drugs have a tendency to slow down digestion leaving the user feeling satiated for a longer period of time.

In the Order issued by the JPML consolidating the cases the Panel stated:

Each lawsuit contains substantially similar allegations about GLP-1 RAs (specifically, Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, Trulicity, and/or Mounjaro) and their alleged propensity to cause

gastrointestinal injuries. All actions share common issues of fact regarding whether defendants knew or should have known that their GLP-1 RA products can cause gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal injuries, whether defendants adequately warned plaintiffs or their prescribing physicians about the alleged dangers of these products, and whether defendants made false, misleading, or incomplete representations regarding the safety of these products.

Plaintiffs who were prescribed the drugs for weight loss claim that they were not warned about the severe side effects. The defendant Novo Nordisk responded that the claims were without merit.

The case is In Re: Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RAs) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No.3094).

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