Three cases have been identified by the U.S. District judge who is responsible for all Elmiron lawsuits. These cases will be ready for a series of “bellwether” jury trials that are scheduled to start in 2023.
The prescription drug Elmiron (pentosan sulfate sodium) is used to treat interstitial cystitis. It is also prescribed for the treatment of painful bladder syndrome. Users often take it for years as there is no cure. Hundreds of lawsuits have now been filed alleging that the drug caused permanent vision problems in some users, including pigmentary maculopathy, a type of retinal damage.
The complaints allege that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, its subsidiary, provided misleading and false information for decades and failed to warn patients and doctors about the importance of monitoring for vision changes during bladder drug use. This drug is now known for blurred or distorted vision and blindness.
Side effects of Elmiron include vision loss and retina damage, also known as pigmentary maculopathy.
Examine a Case
Consolidated Pretrial Proceedings were established in December 2020 to address common questions of law and facts raised in Elmiron lawsuits. This centralized the litigation before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti, District of New Jersey, and allows for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
Judge Martinotti established a “bellwether” process to promote potential Elmiron settlements and to gauge juries’ reactions to evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. This process involved a small number of representative claims going through a case-specific discovery and being prepared for a series of three early trial trials. These are expected to start in January 2023. March 2023. May 2023. This was regarding a Chicago elmiron eye lawyer.
Each party chose 10 cases to be served in the Bellwether Discovery Pool. This made a total of twenty. They were each given the task of selecting one case to be tried, and each side made recommendations to the Court regarding the third claim.
In order to qualify for a bellwether case, the plaintiff had to have been prescribed Elmiron and taken it on or before November 7, 2021.
Judge Martinotti issued a Court Order (PDF) on May 9, identifying the last three claims to be presented to juries.
Julia, Brian Manning, and were the plaintiffs in the case. The case was filed in May 2021 by Julia (PDF). The lawsuit claims that Julia Manning used Elmiron between 2008 and 2014. She suffered injuries to both her eyes. Like other plaintiffs, the lawsuit shows that Julia Manning and her husband took Elmiron from 2008 to 2014. They were not warned of the serious eye injury risk.
The case in which the defendants were selected was filed by Opal Broussard (PDF). in January 2021. Broussard claims that she has suffered vision loss and macular damage as a result of years of Elmiron usage.
Maria Windham (PDF), also from Louisiana, filed the third case. It was chosen by the court and recommended to the defendants. According to her lawsuit, Windham used Elmiron between 2012 and 2014. She then suffered retinal pigmentary changes including macular degeneration.
Although the results of these trial dates are not binding on any other plaintiffs, they can help to gauge the likelihood that juries will respond to evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.
Elmiron Vision Loss Risks
Although drug manufacturers were aware of reports of vision loss and deterioration in long-term users, warnings about the need to monitor vision for Elmiron side effects did not appear on the label until June 2020.
Regulators informed doctors and users for the first time about the possibility of pigmentary maculopathy due to Elmiron exposure. This has caused users to have difficulty adapting to dark light, spots, or floaters in their vision as well as complete blindness.
Researchers are learning more about the causes of Elmiron’s eye issues. A number of new studies have been published in the last few months. These studies will provide convincing evidence for plaintiffs.
A study published in the medical journal Clinic Ophthalmology identified a distinct signature for Elmiron-related maculopathy. This signature can be identified by multimodal imaging. A month later, a study published in the Current opinion in Ophthalmology found that about one in five long-term Elmiron users may have retinal maculopathy. This led to recommendations for eye doctors to ask about Elmiron exposure in patients who present with undiagnosed retinal pigment change and difficulty adapting in dim or dark light.
It is expected that many thousands of complaints will be filed in the United States as more eye doctors diagnose Elmiron’s retinal injury.