Elmiron Eye Class Action Lawsuit Settlements

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. Last year, however, a research study confirmed that prolonged use of Elmiron can cause serious damage to the retinas in the eyes. Studies have conclusively 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 has been filed against Janssen alleging vision loss or damage caused by Elmiron. To date, just over 100 individual Elmiron lawsuits have been filed in federal courts around the country. More of these bladder medication lawsuits have been filed in state courts.

Elmiron MDL Class Action 

November 2021 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 November 2021, there are almost 600 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 Thanksgiving and the Christmas.  But lawyers will be pushing Elmiron lawsuits ahead full steam in January. 

Before the end of this 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 currently set to begin in 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 lawsuit 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 settlements 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.

How Much Compensation Can You Expect to Get for an Elmiron Lawsuit?

Based on settlements in prior mass tort drug cases, we are anticipating 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 Almiron cases think about their settlement value.  Could I be 1000% wrong?  Of course I could.

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.  But, like everything else, this could get delayed by COVID-19 related shutdowns. 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.

The problem, however, is that the COVID-10 pandemic has slowed everything down in the court system. This could make a quick Elmiron settlement much harder.

New Jersey Class Action Elmiron Lawsuits

In addition to the nearly 600 cases pending in federal court in the Elmiron MDL, 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 recently granted a motion to consolidate these Elmiron cases into an MCL (New Jersey’s state version of an MDL). Now all pending Elmiron lawsuits in state courts across NJ will be consolidated for pre-trial proceedings before a single judge.

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.  We are working with a team of lawyers on these cases. Contact our Elmiron class actions lawyers today to get your case started.

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