Elmiron Eye Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

Our lawyers handle Elmiron vision loss lawsuits throughout the country.

This page provides the latest news and updates on the Elmiron class action lawsuit and provides our prediction of the settlement amounts vision loss and blindness victims who bring an Elmiron lawsuit will ultimately receive.

Our Elmiron lawyers are reviewing these eye injury lawsuits.  If you have a potential lawsuit, call our attorneys lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.  There may be a deadline to file your Elmiron lawsuit so act now.  You can also reach out to us online.  You pay no cost or fee of any kind unless our law firm gets a jury payout or settlement compensation for you.

Elmiron Side Effects

Elmiron is the brand name of a popular prescription drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Millions of people take Elmiron every day to treat chronic bladder conditions.

Elmiron is the first line of defense from most interstitial cystitis (IC) patients.  The medication seems to have few side effects. Janssen was making a fortune from the drug.  But then a research study raised the concern that prolonged use of Elmiron can cause serious damage to the retinas in the eyes.  Further studies have established that extended use of Elmiron at high doses has caused permanent blindness and impaired vision.

After the release of these findings linking Elmiron to eye damage, a steady stream of dangerous drug lawsuits have been filed against Janssen alleging vision loss or damage caused by Elmiron. To date, just over 1,740 people have filed an Elmiron lawsuit in federal court. More of these bladder medication lawsuits have been filed in state courts.

Typical Elmiron Lawsuit Plaintiff

Our Elmiron lawyers are getting calls every day from victims.  Here is the classic case we are seeing:

  1. You have a chronic condition called interstitial cystitis for which there is no cure
  2. Your doctor told you there are few side effects and few risks to Elmiron
  3. You started taking Elmiron and it works pretty magically in dealing with IC.
  4. Mindful that your doctor has not expressed concern to you about any great risks with Elmiron, the number of Elmiron pills you need to take keeps increasing over time.
  5. At some point, you started noticing loss of vision, lighting adjustment problems, color discernment loss, loss of nighttime vision, or loss of balance.
  6. Your condition got worse.
  7. You are ultimately diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, toxic maculopathy, or another vision-related injury.
  8. You did not connect the dots to Elmiron and you continued to use the product.
  9. You discovered on the Internet or in television commercials the connection between Elmiron and your eye injury.

This is the story our Elmiron lawyers hear over and over.


Elmiron MDL Class Action Lawsuit Update

Let’s get you up-to-speed on the latest news and updates in the Elmiron class action lawsuit.

September Update:  After the most recent monthly status conference, the Elmiron class action judge issued a housekeeping order. Nothing exciting in the order.

September 15, 2022 Update: The Elmiron class action MDL seemed to be on fire earlier this year with 200 new vision loss cases getting added to the MDL every month. It looks like the pace of new Elmiron vision loss lawsuits has now officially cooled off, however. In the last monthly JPML report, the total number of cases pending in the Elmiron MDL was 1,774, an increase of just 34 cases over the 30 days (August-September). Fortunately, lawyers are set for the first bellwether test trial to be held in January (just 3 months from now). Second and third test trial are set for March and May.  An Elmiron settlement could come before trial in January.  A large verdict will get people’s attention and many people who have not connected their vision impairment and Elmiron will take notice.

September 2, 2022 Update:  After the most recent monthly status conference, the Elmiron class action judge issued a housekeeping order. Nothing exciting in the order.

But we are all systems go on the Windham case as the first bellwether trial and Manning will be the 3rd test trial next year. The defense will select a new bellwether case by the end of September 2022. That selection will be the second case to go to trial.

The pace of new Elmiron lawsuits has slowed over the last month. Only 15 new victims filed an Elmiron eye damage lawsuit over the last 30 days. There are over 1,700 eye injury claims in the federal class action and approximately 170 lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court.

August 2022 Update

August 18, 2022:  The IC drug market is expected to increase more than 50% over the next 6 years and increase 6.6% this year.

August 17, 2022: Over the last month, only 15 new cases were added to the Elmiron MDL. As of August 15, there were 1,740 cases pending in the Elmiron MDL and another 169 cases pending in New Jersey state courts.

August 16, 2022: After the most recent monthly status conference, the Elmiron MDL Judge issued a housekeeping Order confirming that the Windham case will be the first bellwether trial and Manning will be the 3rd test trial next year. The defense will select a new bellwether case by the end of month and that will be the second case to go to trial.

August 8, 2022: Crickets in the Elmiron class action lawsuit in July.  July proved to be an extremely uneventful month for the Elmiron MDL. This is not uncommon for a smaller class action lawsuit in the summer and, as I explain below, the small size of the Elmiron lawsuit might be a good thing for Elmiron settlement amounts for victims.

But it was quiet in July. After seeing record high numbers of cases being transferred into the MDL recently, no new cases were added after July 7, 2022. A status conference was held by Judge Martinotti on July 13, 2022, resulting in an order regarding appointments to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. But there have been no additional docket entries since then.

July 2022 Update

The Elmiron vision damage lawsuits have been the hottest mass tort this summer. From June 15 to July 15 a total of 365 new plaintiffs with Elmiron vision damage claims were added to the MDL, bringing the number of total pending cases up to 1,725.

The addition of almost 400 new cases is the single largest monthly increase since the start of the Elmiron MDL and it was the biggest percentage increase of any mass tort during the period. We are now only 5 months away from the opening round of Elmiron bellwether trials.

June 2022 Update

The Elmiron eye damage class action has 1,360 plaintiffs.  Our Elmiron lawyers initially expected this litigation to be bigger.  But there are just so many people with eye damage that are not connecting the injuries back to Elmiron.

But the last month, however, saw 326 new Elmiron eye damage lawsuits added to the MDL class action. This is the largest monthly increase in new Elmiron lawsuits to date and perhaps a sign of increased awareness.  It was also one of the largest increases in new cases of any mass tort MDL in the country.

May 2022 Update

Three Elmiron lawsuits have been selected for the first round of bellwether trials in the Elmiron MDL:

    1. Windham (20-cv-14670)
    2. Manning (21-cv-11942)
    3. Broussard (21-cv-2028).
Details on These Three Elmiron Bellwether Lawsuits

Broussard and Windham were both defense picks and Manning was selected by the plaintiffs’ committee. Broussard’s complaint is somewhat vague and does not clearly state how long she used Elmiron, just that she suffered “loss of vision.”  So you can see why Elmiron defense lawyers jumped on this Elmiron vision loss lawsuit to push to trial.

Maria Windham, a 67-year-old from Louisiana, is claiming to have developed macular eye damage after taking Elmiron for just 2-years.

Julia Manning is a Georgia resident.  This is clearly the best Elmiron lawsuit of the three.  Ms. Manning took Elmiron for 6 years and suffered damage in both eyes.

Elmiron Scheduling Moving Forward

The judge in the Elmiron MDL followed up his selection of the 3 bellwether trial cases by issuing a new Case Management Order revising the pretrial discovery and trial schedule for the 3 cases.

For all 3 cases, discovery must be concluded by September 9, 2022 and the plaintiffs will be allowed 5 depositions per case. Dispositive motions are due by September 20.

The first bellwether trial will commence in January 2023. The second bellwether trial will be in March and the third and final trial will be in May 2023.

Getting Close to 1000 Elmiron Lawsuits

There are now 900 Elmiron lawsuits in the MDL class action.

April 2022 Update

Following the March Monthly Status Conference, the Elmiron MDL Judge issued another Case Management Order (CMO No.27). The Order provides an updated status of the Elmiron litigation stating that as of March 9, 2022.  One big question this court seems to want to keep a handle on is how many Elmiron lawsuits have been filed.  The answer is 803 Elmiron product liability lawsuits 712 in the federal Elmiron class action lawsuit and 91 suit pending in New Jersey state court. The long-anticipated “Elmiron Science Day” was also rescheduled, for the third time. A new proposed date or time frame has not been discussed.

March 2022 Update

The judge in Elmiron MDL issued a series of Case Management Orders last week which set the stage for moving forward into the next phase of the litigation in preparation for the first bellwether trials next January. Judge Martinotti ordered the parties to submit a joint proposal for final selection of the first bellwether cases. Fact discovery in the pool of bellwether candidate cases will conclude at the end of the month and the initial bellwether trial pool cases will be picked by April 8. The long-awaited “science day” will take place next week (March 25) and a mandatory Case & Claim Data Form (“CCDF”) was approved and must be submitted by all plaintiffs within 30 days.

February 2022 Update

There are now 736 Elmiron lawsuits in the MDL. The Supreme Court of New Jersey ordered last month that all Elmiron vision loss lawsuits pending against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the New Jersey state court system will be consolidated for pretrial administration. This is the New Jersey equivalent of an MDL. The New Jersey Elmiron lawsuits will be consolidated in Bergen County, New Jersey, the location of Janssen.

January 2022 Update

A new Elmiron MDL (In Re: Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Prod. Liab. Litigation, MDL 2973) was established in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey under Judge Brian Martinotti.

As of December 15, 2021, there are almost 800 Elmiron lawsuits pending in the MDL.  Judge Martinotti is an experienced MDL class action judge and has been moving these eye injury and blindness claims through pre-trial discovery.  This litigation will slow down a bit as we head into  Christmas.  But lawyers will be pushing Elmiron lawsuits ahead full steam in January. 

Early next year, Judge Martinotti is planning to hold a “science day” where lawyers on both sides will be given the opportunity to educate the court with an overview of their medical and scientific evidence. The first round of bellwether trials in the Emliron litigation are set for January 2023.

Given the strength of the scientific evidence linking Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy, however, it is possible that a global settlement of these cases could happen before a single bellwether case goes to trial.  

How an Elmiron Settlement Would Work

The scientific evidence linking Elmiron to a very unique type of vision damage is very strong. Past mass tort cases involving dangerous drugs have resulted in massive settlements based on much weaker medical evidence.  Our Elmiron lawyers are bullish on these lawsuits and, while there are no guarantees in litigation, we believe large settlement amounts may be offered to Elmiron victims in 2021.

The Elmiron class action MDL will almost invariably end in a settlement. The big question is how much and what will the Elmiron settlement arrangement look like.

Global settlement amounts in mass tort cases usually involve a structured payout arrangement with individual lawsuits are ranked in tiers based on a points system.  Thinking of an Elmiron settlement in tiers is a good way to conceptualize what compensation payouts might look like

Elmiron lawsuits in the highest tier get a higher settlement payout and cases in the lower tier get the lowest payout. Ranking in tiers is based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries.

For example, a plaintiff with 100% vision loss would be in the highest tier and a plaintiff with only partial vision impairment would be in the lowest tier.

How Do You Know if Elmiron Damaged Your Vision?

Research has conclusively linked Elmiron use to a very specific type of eye damage that is ONLY known to be caused by the active ingredient in Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium). The unique type of eye damage caused by Elmiron is called pigmentary maculopathy.

Anyone who has been on Elmiron for 1 year or longer should have their eyes examined for signs of damage to the retinas. The eye damage linked to Elmiron is often misdiagnosed as age-related macular deterioration, so make sure to tell your eye doctor about your history of Elmiron use.

What Are the Symptoms of an Elmiron-Induced Eye Injury?

The symptoms of an Elmiron-induced eye injury include:

  • blurred vision and distorted vision
  • muted colors
  • changes in eye color
  • increased light sensitivity
  • dark spots, blind spots, and floaters


What Elmiron Settlement Amounts Should We Expect in an Elmiron Lawsuit?

Based on settlements in prior mass tort drug cases and the strength of the case in this litigation, our lawyers anticipate the following Elmiron settlement amounts:

Vision Impairment Level Settlement Range
80% – 100% $750,000 – $1,000,000
40% – 80% $350,000 – $700,000
20% – 40% $75,000 – $200,000
Under 20% $25,000 – $50,000

These numbers are utter speculation.  So why am I posting estimated settlement numbers that are nothing more than a guess?  Victims understandably want to know what lawyers who have looked at these Elmiron cases think about their settlement value.  Could I be 1000% wrong?  Of course I could.  But on September 15, 2022, this is my thinking.

How Long Will an Elmiron Settlement Take?

A final settlement in the Elmiron class action MDL will probably resolve shortly before or shortly after the first trial in January 2023.

Global settlements in most big defective drug cases take time. If a lawyer tells you she will get you a quick Elmiron settlement, run the other way. The pre-trial discovery is massive and takes time to get done. Discovery is typically followed by at least one bellwether trial that can lead to months of back-and-forth negotiation.

The Elmiron litigation could potentially move faster than other defective drug cases simply because the scientific evidence against Elmiron appears to be so strong. The evidence linking Elmiron to macular eye damage is much stronger than evidence in other mass tort drug cases.

For a while, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed everything down in the court system. But now with things close to normal, this is just a bit of slow moving MDL class action, making a quick Elmiron settlement difficult.

New Jersey Class Action Elmiron Lawsuits

In addition to the 1,275 Elmiron lawsuits pending in federal court in the Elmiron MDL class action, there are also a growing number of Elmiron cases in state court in Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ home state of New Jersey. The New Jersey Supreme Court granted a motion to consolidate these Elmiron cases into an MCL (New Jersey’s state version of an MDL).

Now every Elmiron lawsuit in state courts across NJ will be consolidated for pre-trial proceedings before a single judge.

Example Elmiron Pigmentary Maculopathy Lawsuit

An Oregon woman, Deborah Quick, became one of the most recent plaintiffs in the Elmiron eye damage litigation. Quick filed her Elmiron lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals on October 20, 2021. Quick initially filed her Complaint in U.S District Court in Oregon and it was subsequently transferred into the Elmiron MDL.

Quick was first prescribed Elmiron for the treatment of her interstitial cystitis condition in 2002. She took Elmiron every day, as prescribed by her doctors, from 2002 until March 2020 without interruption.  This Elmiron eye damage lawsuit alleges that after taking Elmiron for a long period of time, Quick began to experience problems with her vision which gradually got worse.

Quick’s Complaint claims that it was not until 2019 that her doctor first informed her that her vision problems could potentially be related to her prolonged use of Elmiron.

Quick was eventually diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, a unique type of macular eye damage that is only known to be caused by long-term Elmiron use. Quick’s Elmiron pigmentary maculopathy lawsuit alleges, at its core, failure to warn.  In other words, Janssen knew about the dangers of Elmiron and deliberately concealed them from doctors and patients.   There are a bunch of counts pled in the Elmiron lawsuits. But the crux of it all is you knew of the risk and did not give people a chance to make their own choice.

Research Linking Elmiron to Eye Damage

Elmiron was assumed to be entirely safe until a chance discovery by a team of eye doctors at Emory Eye Center in Atlanta discovered the link between prolonged Elmiron use and a new type of macular eye damage.

Unusual Retinal Pigmentary Changes

In April 2018, a team at Emory Eye Center submitted a letter to the editor of the Journal of Urology reporting findings of unusual retinal pigmentary changes or maculopathy (i.e., any condition affecting the macula at the center of the retina) in 6 female patients on long-term Elmiron treatment (median use of 15.5 years) that did not resemble any other type of retinal disease.

That case series was published online at the end of April 2018.2 None of the patients had a family history of retinal disease or any pathogenic process that would predispose them to such a disease. Of the six (6), five (5) had received 400mg daily of Elmiron, and one received 300 mg daily. The youngest patient was 23 years old when diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, began showing visual symptoms at 30, and by 37 had the most severe eye damage in the study.

Pigmentary Maculopathy Research at Emory

The Emory researchers also presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting at the end of Spring 2019 where they reported results from a retrospective cross-sectional study that included all patients at Emory Eye Center who had been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis within a 4-year period.

The authors found 14 cases of Elmiron-related maculopathy in 80 patients exposed to Elmiron and no cases in 139 unexposed patients. The authors thereby concluded a strong association between Elmiron exposure and this specific type of vision-threatening maculopathy

The Emory research group then teamed with researchers at other institutions to conduct a multi-institutional case series published in September 2019 that analyzed 35 patients with Elmiron-associated maculopathy.

The median duration of use was 14.5 years at a median dose of 300 mg per day. The most common referral diagnosis was macular or pattern dystrophy and/or age-related macular degeneration, and the most common symptoms included blurred vision and prolonged dark adaptation. This study focused on diagnostic methods (i.e., multimodal imaging) and presentation of this specific form of maculopathy, which proved distinctive from other retinal diseases and conditions.

Kaiser Research

In October 2019, a research team at Kaiser Permanente in California found that out of 140 patients currently using Elmiron for an average of 15 years (and a minimum of five years), 24% had eye damage that increased with the total amount of Elmiron taken.

That team presented their research at the 2019 Annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco. The researchers then performed exam screening on 117 patients exposed to Elmiron, of which 23% had definite indications of the unique Elmiron eye damage.

In November 2019, the Emory Eye Center team released results from a U.S. retrospective cohort study using a medical claims database comparing Elmiron users to matched controls at 5 and 7 years of use. At the 7-year follow-up, Elmiron users had a significantly increased risk of developing atypical maculopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Therefore, this study concluded that ELMIRON “exposure was associated with a new diagnosis of macular disease at the 7-year follow-up in a large national cohort.”

Powerful Elmiron Case Study

Also, in November 2019, a researcher at Harvard published a case study of Elmiron-associated maculopathy that progressed over six years after discontinuing the medication.

The female patient used 200mg per day for 18 years. She presented with a year of visual symptoms at the age of 62 and stopped using ELMIRON shortly thereafter. She continued to be seen for increasing visual damage over the course of the next six (6) years and was determined to have retinal atrophy and damage that could not be associated with any genetic or other potential cause.

Upon release of the Emory case study in 2018, her treaters determined her case was consistent with Elmiron-associated maculopathy. The authors stated that this case, “adds a new layer of concern by demonstrating progressive maculopathy continuing for up to 6 years after the cessation of [ELMIRON],” and called for screening that “balances the demands of patients and physicians with the importance of prompt identification of early toxicity.”

PPS-Associated Maculopathy

In July 2020, researchers from several institutions published a retrospective case series to evaluate the disease course of retinal pigmentary changes/maculopathy associated with Elmiron use (referred to as “PPS-associated maculopathy”).

Of the 11 patients included in the study with confirmed PPS-associated maculopathy, none of the patients exhibited demonstrable improvement after discontinuing Elmiron. Nine of the patients reported worsening visual symptoms.

Imaging confirmed an expansion of the affected areas of the retina over time and even atrophy encroaching on the foveal center, which suggests that eye damage continues even after patients stop using Elmiron.

Example Elmiron Lawsuit

Let’s look at a somewhat typical Elmiron lawsuit.  An elderly woman, Joanne Williams in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, was prescribed Elmiron. From January 2005 to May 2015, Williams took the prescription to treat pain associated with her interstitial cystitis (a bladder disorder that makes the bladder hold urine long after the kidneys have filtered it). As a result of her vision loss from her usage of Elmiron,  Williams filed her Elmiron lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

At 79 years old, Williams is suffering from avoidable vision loss from retinal pigmentary degeneration. This vision injury has, as anyone can imagine,  severely diminished her life. Her Elmiron lawsuit alleges Janssen Pharmaceuticals marketed Elmiron to her and her healthcare providers with complete knowledge of the risks associated but the company did nothing Defendants did nothing to change its product, packaging, guidelines, instructions, and/or warnings.

This Elmiron lawsuit, like every Elmiron eye damage lawsuit, boils down to Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ refusal to warn doctors and patients that this IC medication might have life-altering side effects that could cause eye damage and blindness.

Interestingly, Ms. Williams’ Elmiron lawyer contacted Janssen Pharmaceuticals to see if the company might be willing to offer a reasonable settlement amount to get her Elmiron case resolved without filing a lawsuit.  Janssen never bothered to respond.

Elmiron Class Action Lawyers

My firm, Miller & Zois, is currently accepting new Elmiron cases from individuals who have been diagnosed with Elmiron-related eye damage. Contact our Elmiron class actions lawyers today to get your case started. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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