When people come to believe that a large corporation injured them, their first impulse is to see if other victims are forming a class action lawsuit. The idea is that by joining together, they can get a larger amount of compensation because doing so conserves resources used in litigation. However, if you took Fosamax and believe Merck is responsible for the injury you suffered, this page is here to help you understand why joining a Fosamax class action lawsuit is not in your best interest.
Class action lawsuits are court cases in which many plaintiffs sue a handful of defendants. Forming a class requires the plaintiffs to establish a few things, primarily that their injuries are similar. Often, one (or a few) named plaintiff(s) files the initial lawsuit and then moves the court to certify a class of plaintiffs with the same injury.
When it comes to personal injury cases, however, seeking class certification is likely to reduce the amount of compensation individual plaintiffs receive because often the remedy the class receives is that the defendant changes its business practices going forward. The judgment or settlement sometimes results in the class receiving a nominal award, such as a coupon for more of the defendant’s goods and services. Consequently class action lawsuits are more appropriate for injuries involving purely financial damages (like stock fraud or credit card and phone bill overcharges) than those involving personal injuries where the severity of the injury can differ significantly among plaintiffs.
Fosamax Class Action Lawsuit or MDL?
Instead of joining a class action lawsuit, you are probably better off filing your own lawsuit in federal court and having it consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding. Like a class action lawsuit, MDL prevents duplicative pretrial proceedings common to all plaintiffs’ cases. The parties then select for trial a few plaintiffs whose cases can serve as “bellwethers” to help everyone determine the extent of the defendant’s liability and how much compensation plaintiffs should receive. Unlike a class action, plaintiffs receive compensation based on their injuries, which prevents over- and under-compensation that occurs in class action lump-sum payouts.
Fosamax MDLs are ongoing
There are no pending Fosamax class action lawsuits against Merck. In April 2006, plaintiffs in Florida, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania who took Fosamax and suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), asked a federal court for class certification. In January 2008, the court denied their motion, and the plaintiffs were required to proceed against Merck individually. In the Fosamax ONJ MDL pending in the Southern District of New York, six bellwether trials have occurred with Merck winning four. Merck’s court victories should not discourage those who have ONJ from talking to a lawyer about bringing a case.
A Fosamax femur fracture MDL is also pending before a New Jersey federal court as well, and it is proceeding to the bellwether trial phase in 2013. Those who have suffered a femur fracture while taking Fosamax will likely join that MDL rather than the ONJ one.
RLG Advocates for People Injured by Defective Drugs
The lawyers of the Rottenstein Law Group specialize in mass tort and products liability law and can help you demand compensation from Merck for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you took Fosamax and believe it injured you, click on this link or call 1-888-976-8529 and a lawyer will reach out to you as soon as possible and give you a free, confidential consultation.