New York, NY (PRWEB) April 21, 2011
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Fosamax warning in October 2010, stating that the drug, among other bisphosphonates, causes atypical low-impact femur fractures. Subsequently, dozens of lawsuits were filed against the manufacturer in various federal courts. The suits allege, among other things, that Merck inadequately tested the drug and then failed to warn users of its dangers.
On March 23, 2011, Merck moved the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all federal Fosamax lawsuits into a single Multidistrict Litigation, or “MDL,” proceeding for purposes of pretrial discovery. (MDL No. 2243—In re: Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation (No. II).) Because Merck is located in New Jersey, its motion requested that the panel send all the lawsuits to United States District Judge Garrett Brown of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, where many of the extant lawsuits are already pending. Merck proposed the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, before Judge Rebecca Doherty, as an alternative.
MDL is a mechanism that allows for greater efficiency in the handling of numerous lawsuits, typically by different plaintiffs against a common defendant or defendants. Unlike a class action, MDL does not distribute equal damages to all involved plaintiffs. Instead, it provides plaintiffs with access to the defendant’s pretrial disclosures, eliminates inconsistent pretrial rulings by multiple judges, and speeds up the litigation process for all litigants and the court. Plaintiffs maintain their own lawsuits and take their cases to trial separately.
Merck is already an MDL defendant in cases alleging that Fosamax causes osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)(MDL No. 2243—In re: Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation (No. II)). More than 900 plaintiffs’ cases were consolidated via MDL in a New York federal court. These Fosamax lawsuits began in 2006, but the court excluded all bone fracture claims because it found that how Fosamax allegedly causes ONJ differs from how it might cause femur fractures.
The Rottenstein Law Group urges anyone whose friend or relative has been prescribed Fosamax or another osteoporosis drug to reach out to that person and recommend that he or she consult a physician immediately and then speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer. The Rottenstein Law Group maintains a Fosamax Lawsuit Information Center at http://www.fosamaxfemurlawsuits.com. The site has features that allow for easy sharing, including links for automatic posting on Facebook and Twitter, specifically to enable visitors to spread the word about the dangers of Fosamax.
About THE ROTTENSTEIN LAW GROUP
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, who has more than two decades of experience as a lawyer, to represent clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action lawsuits in a compassionate manner. http://www.rotlaw.com
The Rottenstein Law Group, LLP
Rochelle Rottenstein, Esq.
1259 Veeder Drive
Hewlett NY 11557
(212) 933-9500 (office phone)
(212) 933-9980 (facsimile)