How to file an "Invokana" lawsuit in Nevada

Nevada patients on the most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes medication Invokana (canagliflozin) may experience serious complications including kidney damage and amputations. Victims injured by the drug manufacturer's negligence may be able to join hundreds of other victims across the nation in a multi-district litigation case to try to recover compensatory damages for:

It may be possible to recover sizable punitive damages as well, which can be far larger than compensatory damages. If the patient died from the drug, his/her family can bring a suit for wrongful death.

In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Invokana lawsuits in Nevada, including negligence claims, standards of proof, and statutes of limitations. Click on a topic to jump to that section:

Kidney
Invokana carries risks of kidney damage, heart attacks, and amputations.

1. What can I do if I got injured by Invokana in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Patients who experience complications from taking the drug may be able to sue the drug's manufacturer for negligence. In order to prevail on a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff (victim) has the burden to prove the following four elements:

  1. The defendant(s) had a duty of care toward the plaintiff;
  2. The defendant(s) did not meet this duty;
  3. This breach led to the plaintiff's injury; and
  4. This injury caused damages.1

A negligence lawsuit against Invokana's manufacturer could allege the following:

  • The manufacturer created a defective and unreasonably dangerous drug;
  • The manufacturer provided no proof that the drug is a better diabetes drug than others;
  • The manufacturer did not properly test the drug;
  • The manufacturer knew form its post-market studies that the drug caused dreadful side effects;
  • The manufacturer failed to warn about the heightened risk of kidney failure, ketoacidosis, heart attacks, and amputations; and/or
  • The manufacturer hid evidence of the drug's dangers and falsely marketed that the drug is safe

Diabetes is already one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Had the patients known about Invokana's risks, they may have elected to take another drug with a better track record for side effects. Alternatively, patients who elected to take the drug would have known to monitor their health better in an effort to stave off the drug's potential side effects.

Note that negligence is just one of the causes of action victims may claim. Others include breach of express and implied warranties, fraudulent misrepresentation, and more. 

1.1. Injuries

Invokana has been linked to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is when the body is unable to generate sufficient insulin; insulin helps sugar (glucose) permeate cells to provide energy to the body's muscles and tissues. When the body does not make enough insulin, a dangerous and toxic amount of ketones accumulate in the blood; the body makes ketone (blood acid) chemicals when it breaks down fat as an energy source. Ketoacidosis can lead to hospitalization, diabetic comas, and possibly death; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, confusion, cognitive difficulties, and respiratory difficulty.

Amputation

Taking Invokana (or Invokamet or Invokamet XR) also doubles the patient's risk of lower limb amputations (as compared with taking a placebo). Diabetics who already have foot ulcers, neuropathy, or peripheral vascular disease may be at a higher risk of Invokana-induced amputation.

Other potential complications from Invokana include:

  • kidney damage or renal failure that may lead to dialysis,
  • dehydration,
  • UTI (urinary tract infection),
  • urinary urgency,
  • genital fungal/mycotic infection in females (a.k.a. yeast infections),
  • penis yeast infections,
  • urosepsis,
  • serious allergic reactions,
  • dehydration (dizziness, lightheadedness),
  • cardiac ischemia,
  • myocardial infarction (heart attacks), and/or
  • leg, knee, foot or toe (lower limb) amputations.2

The drug may also cause these possible side effects:

  • hyperkalemia (an increased level of potassium in the blood),
  • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),
  • low blood pressure, and/or
  • high cholesterol

There is also no proof so far that the drug helps lessen certain diabetic symptoms, such as impaired vision or peripheral nerve damage.

2. What money can I get?

An Invokana lawsuit could seek compensatory damages for:

Invokana 20bottle
  1. Medical bills from treating the Invokana complications,
  2. Pain and suffering arising from the drug injuries,
  3. Lost salary, and/or
  4. Loss of future salary

Depending on the case, it may be possible to recover punitive damages as well. And the family of Invokana fatalities may bring suit for wrongful death.

3. Whom can I sue?

Victims may be able to sue Invokana's manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson).

4. How do I prove my claim in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Plaintiffs in Nevada negligence cases have the burden to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant was negligent. In short, that the "preponderance of the evidence" demonstrates the defendant was negligent. Common evidence in Invokana cases include:

  • The plaintiff's medical records,
  • Expert medical testimony, and/or
  • Marketing materials that show the defendants failed to warn about the complications the plaintiff endured

Learn more about proving negligence in Nevada.

5. When can I sue?

Invokana 20pill

Within two (2) years of being injured by Invokana. However, anyone potentially harmed by Invokana in Nevada should seek a consultation with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of joining the multi-district litigation against Invokana (see the next question).3

6. Should I file my lawsuit in Nevada or join a federal class action?

Class actions are usually not the best way to sue a drug company. Instead, victims are better served by joining multi-district litigation (MDL), where one court decides pretrial matters for all similar cases. Then if there is still no settlement agreement, the cases return to their original, local venues and proceed individually.

Currently, there is an Invokana MDL out of the New Jersey, called IN RE: Invokana (Canagliflozin) Products Liability Litigation (MDL # 2750) (Case No. 3:17-cv-06172-BRM-LHG).

7. What is Invokana used for?

FDA approved in 2013, Invokana (canagliflozin) is prescribed to adults with Type 2 diabetes. A kind of diuretic, it lowers blood sugar and improves glycemic control by blocking glucose from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream and causing the kidneys to expel sugar through urine.4

Invokana is part of a class of drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Other SGLT2 inhibitors include Invokamet (canagliflozin metformin), Farxiga (dapagliflozin) Glyxambi (empagliflozin/linagliptin), Jardiance (empagliflozin), and Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin/metformin HCl extended-release). Currently, some 26 million Americans suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

Patients are advised to combine Invokana with a nutritious diet and exercise. Patients on dialysis or who have a history of kidney disease should not take the drug. Patients with any of the following conditions may be more likely to have complications if they take Invokana:

  • liver or heart disease,
  • high or low blood pressure,
    high cholesterol,
  • imbalanced electrolytes (for example, having high potassium levels in the blood)
  • on a low-sodium diet
  • on insulin (or other diabetes meds)

It is unknown if the drug has adverse effects on fetuses or breastfeeding babies.

8. Has Invokana been recalled?

No, but the FDA recently issued safety announcements that warn about the link between Invokana and kidney problems, ketoacidosis, and possible amputation.

After Invokana went to market, the pharmaceutical industry watchdog organization Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) claimed that hundreds of "serious adverse events" were reported by Invokana users. ISMP also claimed that Invokana caused more adverse events than 92% of the other medications it monitors.5

9. Resources

Helpful articles and information pages include:

Invokana

10. Related "mass tort" drug litigation in Nevada

Most of the drugs people see advertised in television commercials are associated with serious lawsuits. For information on how to file lawsuits against drug manufacturers, read our informational articles:

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Call our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation.

Call a Nevada personal injury attorney...

Have you suffered kidney damage or amputations after taking Invokana in Nevada? Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys may be able to win you a substantial settlement. Contact us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. Our personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, so you pay us zero unless we win.


Legal References:

  1. See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
  2. FDA Invokana Safety - Kidney Issues; FDA Invokana Safety - Amputations.
  3. NRS 11.190.
  4. Invokana official site.
  5. FDA Safety Communication re. Kidney Damage (June 14, 2016); FDA Safety Communication re. Ketoacidosis (May 15, 2015); FDA Safety Communication re. Amputations (May 16, 2017) (“Based on new data from two large clinical trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that the type 2 diabetes medicine canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR) causes an increased risk of leg and foot amputations. We are requiring new warnings, including our most prominent Boxed Warning, to be added to the canagliflozin drug labels to describe this risk. Patients taking canagliflozin should notify your health care professionals right away if you develop new pain or tenderness, sores or ulcers, or infections in your legs or feet. Talk to your health care professional if you have questions or concerns. Do not stop taking your diabetes medicine without first talking to your health care professional.”); Quarterwatch (May 6, 2015); Note there is currently an Invokana lawsuit out of Owyhee (Elko).

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