Tepezza is a prescription drug used for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. New evidence has recently shown that Tepezza can cause abnormal reactions in certain patients, resulting in permanent hearing damage. This evidence has led to a growing tide of Tepezza hearing damage lawsuits being filed across the country.
Last week, the JPML created a new MDL class action lawsuit for all Tepezza hearing loss cases pending in federal courts across the country. The new Tepezza class action lawsuit will be assigned to a single federal judge in Illinois.
Tepezza is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED). TED is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the eye tissue resulting in vision difficulties. Tepezza is manufactured and sold by Horizon Therapeutics.
Tepezza is currently the only medication approved by the FDA for treatment of this condition. It has been on the U.S. market since 2020. Tepezza is administered intravenously (IV) over three to six months, and it has been shown to improve symptoms such as eye-bulging, double vision, and eye pain in patients with active TED.
Evidence Links Tepezza to Hearing Loss
During the FDA drug approval process, Horizon disclosed that Tepezza presented a risk of hearing loss. However, Horizon grossly understated and minimalized the extent and severity of the hearing loss risk. Horizon claimed that only 10% of individuals who received Tepezza would experience hearing problems, and that none of those problems would be permanent.
Almost immediately after Tepezza was released on the U.S. market in 2020, however, it became clear that the hearing loss risk was much more significant. Large numbers of Tepezza patients and their doctors began reporting severe and permanent hearing loss after receiving Tepezza injections.
The adverse event reports from Tepezza patients were soon followed up by a series of medical reports and studies which confirmed that Tepezza was causing permanent hearing loss in a high percentage of patients. A report in the journal Endocrine Society found that over 60% of Tepezza patients reported hearing loss, hearing damage, or tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears). This was over six times higher than the estimated risk disclosed by Horizon in its product packaging and warning labels.
Tepezza Hearing Loss Class Action Lawsuit
Patients who suffered hearing loss from Tepezza injections began filing product liability lawsuits against Horizon in 2022. These Tepezza lawsuits claimed that Horizon negligently failed to warn patients and doctors about the real risks of hearing damage associated with Tepezza.
The plaintiffs in these Tepezza lawsuits claim that the lack of an adequate warning about the risk of hearing damage from Tepezza left them and their doctors unaware of the potential harm that the drug could cause.
As the number of Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits steadily grew throughout the course of 2022, a group of Tepezza plaintiffs filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking to have the cases in federal courts consolidated into a new “class action” MDL. Horizon filed a motion opposing the request for MDL consolidation and a hearing was held by the JPML on May 25, 2023.
On June 2, 2023, the JPML issued an Order granting the request to create a new Tepezza class action MDL. Under the Order, all current and future Tepezza product liability cases in the federal courts will be consolidated into a single combined action. The new Tepezza hearing loss MDL has been assigned to Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
Judge Durkin is a veteran judge who was appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2013. Prior to being appointed, Durkin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a partner at a law firm in Chicago where he worked on commercial litigation matters.
The Order establishing the new MDL identified 18 pending Tepezza hearing damage lawsuits spread across 5 separate federal districts. 19 additional Tepezza cases in federal courts were also named as potentially related actions. All of these cases will now be transferred into the MDL in Illinois. Also, all future Tepezza cases in federal courts will also be transferred into the MDL.
The cases in the MDL will proceed into a period of consolidated discovery in which a committee of plaintiffs’ attorneys will be appointed by Judge Durkin to make collective decisions on behalf of all other plaintiffs. Once the discovery phase is completed, a small number of test cases will be selected and prepped for bellwether trials. The results of the bellwether trials are designed to give both sides an idea of what to expect if all of the cases went to trial. The hope is that this information will then be used to facilitate a global settlement.
Contact Us About a Tepezza Lawsuit
Our firm is currently seeking Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits across the country. If you took Tepezza for treatment of TED and you subsequently suffered hearing damage or tinnitus, contact our office today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online for a free consultation.