Darvon and Darvocet Lawsuits Likely To Be Consolidated in a Single Federal Court Says Phoenix Attorney

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Petitions have been filed in several pending lawsuits requesting that all federal Darvon and Darvocet cases be consolidated in a single federal court. Both painkilling drugs were withdrawn from the market in November 2010 by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. following a request to do so by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both drugs have been linked to serious heart rhythm problems.

The anticipated number of lawsuits makes Darvon and Darvocet cases entirely appropriate for MDL consolidation. It will have the advantage of increasing efficiency, reducing costs and avoiding the likelihood of inconsistent pre-trial rulings.

Petitions have been filed in several pending lawsuits requesting that all federal Darvon and Darvocet cases be consolidated in a single federal court. (In Re: Darvocet, Darvon and Propoxyphene Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2226, JPMDL). Both painkilling drugs were withdrawn from the market in November 2010 by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. following a request to do so by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Jennifer Corbett Dooren, "Xanodyne Agrees to Take Darvon, Darvocet Off Market," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2010.) Both drugs have been linked to serious heart rhythm problems.

Such consolidations are common in complex product liability lawsuits where multiple cases involving similar facts are pending in various federal courts. These consolidations, known as multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings, are intended to more efficiently handle cases where many people may have been harmed by the same product or in similar ways.

According to James R. Harrison, a Phoenix attorney whose law firm has represented clients in numerous MDL cases for nearly two decades, “it is likely that all federal Darvon and Darvocet cases will be given MDL status by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.” Harrison noted that since Darvon was on the market for more than fifty years, hundreds or thousands of patients may have valid legal claims for injuries they received from the drugs.

“The anticipated number of lawsuits makes Darvon and Darvocet cases entirely appropriate for MDL consolidation,” Harrison added. “It will have the advantage of increasing efficiency, reducing costs and avoiding the likelihood of inconsistent pre-trial rulings.”

Harrison pointed out that each MDL case maintains its separate identity throughout the consolidation. If it is not dismissed by the MDL judge, and if it fails to settle, it will be remanded to the original court for trial.

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James R. Harrison