Lawyers Suing Over Joint Damage from Pain Pumps Renew Push to Consolidate Federal Cases

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Maryland lawyer Robert K. Jenner and Indianapolis attorney Irwin B. Levin file Multidistrict Litigation petition in Minnesota.

Robert K. Jenner

We’ve had patients say it hurts just watching TV. Sleeping is impossible. Lifting anything of any weight is simply out of the question.

Attorneys who are suing over the use of pain pumps that left patients with crippling shoulder pain have renewed their application to consolidate more than 150 federal lawsuits.

The latest court filing in the Judicial Panel for MultiDistrict Litigation comes on the heels of an FDA announcement that admonished pain pump manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies to put warnings on their products about the dangers of using pain pumps in the shoulder.

"We have renewed our Multidistrict Litigation petition and we are asking for a consolidation of cases in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota," said Robert K. Jenner, of Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC in Pikesville, MD.

The MDL petition, In Re: Ambulatory Pain Pump-Chondrolysis Product Liability Litigation, was received by the Clerk's Office on Nov. 30.

Jenner is one of several attorneys who have filed lawsuits against the medical device makers and anesthetic drug manufacturers. Irwin B. Levin, an attorney with Cohen & Malad, LLP in Indianapolis, IN, is also involved in the latest petition, as is Ronald Johnson of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, in Ft. Wright, Kentucky.

Jenner, Levin and other lawyers involved in the litigation allege that pain pump manufacturers advised doctors to use the devices directly in the shoulder joint even after the FDA specifically denied their applications for use of the pain pump in the shoulder joint. In a Nov. 13 report, the FDA explicitly reiterated its position that it had "not cleared any infusion devices with an indication for use in intra-articular infusion of local anesthetics."

The FDA said the use of pain pumps in that manner has been linked to shoulder chondrolysis, an extremely painful condition in which the cushioning cartilage in the shoulder deteriorates. There is no permanent cure for destroyed cartilage.

“It’s a lifetime of pain,” said Levin, “We’ve had patients say it hurts just watching TV. Sleeping is impossible. Lifting anything of any weight is simply out of the question.”

In its Nov. 13 announcement, the FDA said it would require new safety warnings for pain pumps and the anesthetics that go in them. While Jenner and Levin applaud the FDA’s efforts to enforce warnings on these products, they both agree that the companies should have done this on their own nearly a decade ago. “Our clients are cheerleaders, swimmers, baseball players, construction workers, and the like. Their doctors deserved to know the truth about these products, and the companies did not perform a single study to find out if pumping large doses of anesthetic into a shoulder joint was safe. Juries will have to determine just how accountable these companies are,” Jenner said.

About Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC

The law firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC is a nationally recognized law firm dedicated to representing victims of defective medical devices, prescription drugs and medical malpractice. Each of the firm's principals is named in The Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®. The firm has offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Columbia, South Carolina; and Asheville, North Carolina. The firm accepts clients and referrals from patients and attorneys throughout the country. For more information on the pain pump litigation, contact the firm at 1-888-463-3529 or through its pain pump Website.

About Cohen & Malad, LLP

The law firm of Cohen & Malad, LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of class actions, mass torts, human rights and complex business litigation around the United States and internationally. The firm boasts 7 lawyers voted by their peers as Super Lawyers (one being voted a Top 10 Lawyer in Indiana for the past 3 years). Cohen & Malad accepts referrals from and enters into co-counsel arrangements with attorneys throughout the United States. For more information on the pain pump litigation, contact the firm at 317-636-6481 or through its pain pump Website.

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