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May 6, 2019

Thousands of Valsartan Cancer Lawsuits Expected Over Drug Contamination

Experts are projecting that valsartan cancer lawsuits will eventually number in the thousands over the widespread contamination of the popular blood pressure medication.

Currently, there are only a few dozen valsartan cancer lawsuits pending in the federal court system. However, as more individuals learn that impurities in certain generic valsartan pills could have caused them to develop cancer, lawyers in the litigation project that thousands of lawsuits will eventually flood the nation's courts.

All the current federal lawsuits have similar allegations that the generic manufacturing process produced cancer-causing impurities that contaminated several different companies’ generic valsartan medication. These impurities include N-nitrodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrodiethylamine (NDEA). These increase risks for colon, liver, kidney, stomach, and other digestive tract cancers.

Valsartan Cancer Lawsuits MDL

Due to the striking similarities in the federal lawsuits, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated the pretrial proceedings to avoid duplicative discovery and conflicting pretrial rulings that can further hold up large, complex litigation. Consequently, District Judge Robert B. Kugler is now presiding over the entirety of the litigation in the District of New Jersey.

At a recent status conference, the plaintiffs’ attorneys indicated they expect more than 2,000 cases to enter the MDL over the next two years.

Consequently, Judge Kugler is allowing the direct filing of valsartan lawsuits into the MDL to expedite new case filings and void delays from transferring claims from nationwide District Courts.

As part of these pretrial proceedings, Judge Kugler will most likely establish a bellwether program. During this process, the court will select a representative group of cases for early trial dates. These early test trials help parties evaluate the relative strength and weaknesses of their respective cases, as well as gauge how juries are likely to respond to evidence that appears throughout the litigation. While these early trials are not binding on the remaining cases in the MDL, they could facilitate valsartan settlement agreements from the manufacturers to resolve the litigation.

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