People who developed the eye condition pigmentary maculopathy from taking Elmiron are seeking large financial damages from the drug maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals. All Elmiron lawsuits are being joined into a federal multi-district litigation in December of 2020, so settlements are likely a couple of years away.
Shouse Law Group is representing Elmiron victims in their fight for enough compensatory damages to cover all their doctor’s bills, lost past and future earnings, pain and suffering, and more. We are committed to making Big Pharma pay for its failure to warn doctors and patients about the link between Elmiron and vision damage.
In this article, our Elmiron attorneys discuss:
- 1. How big will the Elmiron settlements be?
- 2. How soon will there be settlements?
- 3. Who is eligible to sue?
- 4. Do plaintiffs bring individual lawsuits?
- 5. What is Elmiron?
1. How big will the Elmiron settlements be?
It is impossible to predict as litigation is still in an early stage. In general, the more severe the eye problems, the higher the possible payout. In every case, plaintiffs attorneys will be fighting for compensatory damages to cover their clients’:
- Medical and prescription drug bills to treat and manage the vision problems,
- Lost wages from being unable to work due to the vision problems,
- Lost earning capacity from being unable to work in the future because of vision problems, and
- Pain and suffering caused from the vision impairment, which is arguably the highest cost
The ability to see clearly is priceless and necessary to move through the world. Therefore plaintiffs attorneys are pursuing the most money possible from Janssen Pharmaceuticals – which has very deep pockets.
Ideally, plaintiffs whose pigmentary maculopathy precludes them from having a job will recover enough money so they do not need to work again.
2. How soon will there be settlements?
Probably not for at least a couple of years. Litigation has just started in earnest in 2020. But plaintiffs should know that their attorneys are working as quickly as possible.
Currently litigation is the pretrial stage. Eventually a few Elmiron cases will go to trial. These are called bellwether trials.
How these bellwether trials turn out will set the tone for negotiations with all the other Elmiron plaintiffs. The bigger the jury verdict in a bellwether trial, the more likely Janssen will offer a big settlement to other plaintiffs in attempt to avoid more trials.
3. Who is eligible to sue?
People who developed retinal pigmentary maculopathy after taking the drug Elmiron may have grounds to sue Janssen for designing a dangerous drug and failing to warn them about the risks of vision problems.
Note that retinal maculopathy is often misdiagnosed as dystrophy or late-stage dry atrophic age-related macular degeneration. So Elmiron patients who have been diagnosed with either of these diseases are encouraged to get checked by their ophthalmologist for pigmentary maculopathy.
4. Do plaintiffs bring individual lawsuits?
Yes, but all Elmiron lawsuits are being consolidated into an MDL (multi-district litigation). MDLs are an efficient way to expedite litigation and settlements in Elmiron lawsuits, where all the plaintiffs have a similar eye disorder and are suing the same defendant: Janssen. Just one judge makes all the pretrial decisions, and these decisions apply to every lawsuit in the MDL.
The Elmiron MDL is out of the District of New Jersey. The MDL number is 2973. And the federal judge presiding over it is the Honorable Brian R. Martinotti. New Jersey makes sense as the location for the Elmiron MDL because Janssen‘s principal place of business is in Titusville, New Jersey.
Currently there are more than a one hundred lawsuits in the MLD. But it is estimated that the number will grow into the thousands as more plaintiffs join each day.1
Note that an MDL is different from a class action lawsuit. In MDLs, all the lawsuits remain separate. Each plaintiff gets a separate settlement depending on the facts of his/her case.
5. What is Elmiron?
Elmiron is the brand name for pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). The use of Elmiron is prescribed to treat the bladder condition interstitial cystitis (also called bladder pain syndrome or painful bladder syndrome). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it back in 1996. (Elmiron can also be prescribed for osteoarthritis.)
But there is increasing evidence that one out of four Elmiron users will develop vision problems. Specifically, the drug seems to cause eye damage to the macula’s retinal pigment epithelium (at the rear, central part of the retina).
Symptoms of this eye disease – called pigmentary maculopathy or macular retinopathy – range from seeing spots to having difficulty reading to full on permanent vision loss. The long-term use of Elmiron at high doses seems to increase the risk of toxicity and retinal damage. Elmiron’s labeling included no warning of this eye disease until June of 2020.
Elmiron can also cause other side effects, including hair loss, bloody stools and liver problems. Elmiron has anticoagulant properties, but it is not prescribed as a blood thinner.2
Have you or a loved one developed retinal disease from Elmiron? Contact us now for a free consultation on how we can fight for the maximum financial compensation possible. We create attorney-client relationships throughout the United States.
Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future results.
- In re Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) Products Liability Litigation; MDL 2973 (consolidated on December 15, 2020); Amanda Bronstad, Predicting ‘Several Hundreds of Cases,’ MDL Panel Sends Elmiron Lawsuits to New Jersey, New Jersey Law Journal (December 16, 2020)
- William A. Pearce, Rui Chen, Nieraj Jain, Pigmentary Maculopathy Associated with Chronic Exposure to Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium, American Academy of Ophthalmology (May, 2018) (Emory Eye Center study in Atlanta); Robin A Vora MD, Presentation: Prevalence of Maculopathy Associated With Pentosan Polysulfate Therapy in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, AAO (October 2019).