The Rottenstein Law Group keeps a close eye on developments in the two Fosamax multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings. MDL is a judicial mechanism that consolidates the pretrial proceedings for numerous plaintiffs’ cases against a small number of defendants, but unlike a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs maintain their individual cases so the amount of compensation from their Fosamax lawsuits will be better tailored to their injuries. The MDL court holds several bellwether trials to help the parties determine the value of their cases, so they can decide whether to settle out of court or go to trial themselves.
The Fosamax femur fracture MDL (No. 2243) is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey before District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano, and the Fosamax osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) MDL (No. 1789) is located in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before District Court Judge John F. Keenan.
An article on Bloomberg has the story on the second Fosamax femur fracture bellwether trial, now underway in Trenton, New Jersey.
Three-Week Jury Trial Began Tuesday
After jurors were selected on Monday, April 8, the parties gave their opening statements on Tuesday, April 9. The plaintiffs will argue that Bernadette Glynn took Fosamax as directed, and it caused her right femur to break because the drug makes bones “highly mineralized, homogeneous, [and] brittle.” The statement refers to Fosamax’s mechanism of action, which prevents the body from clearing osteoclasts (dead bone cells) to reduce the ratio of bone destruction to bone creation. Merck disputes the claim, arguing that Glynn’s fracture could not have been prevented given her osteoporosis, but that taking Fosamax lessened the severity of the fracture.
According to the facts, Glynn starting taking Fosamax in 2002 until the fracture occurred in 2009. She bent over to pick up something in her driveway or garage, felt a pinching sensation in her right leg, and then her thigh bone snapped when she took another step. Physicians were able to surgically repair her leg with rods and screws.
Merck also claims that even if it had placed an adequate warning on Fosamax’s drug label, the four physicians and one nurse would have still prescribed Glynn Fosamax. Glynn is currently 58 years old.
Four Femur Fracture Trials Scheduled
In late February, Merck released its annual shareholder filing (Form 10-K) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and it contains information on how the lawsuits are faring in MDL.
Notably, Merck disclosed that aside from Glynn, three more trials out of the 33 cases that the parties reviewed for bellwether status have also been scheduled:
- September 2013 – Zessin v. Merck
- January 2013 – Young v. Merck
- May 2014 – Johnson v. Merck
RLG Advocates for Fosamax Users
Merck will fight each of these cases to trial and beyond to ensure that Fosamax users do not receive compensation without taking legal action. If you took Fosamax as directed, and you believe it contributed to an injury, the Rottenstein Law Group would like to help you obtain compensation for lost income, full medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Simply click on this link or all 1-877-476-1516 and one of our lawyers will call you as soon as possible to give you a complimentary, confidential case evaluation.