J&J, Janssen face lawsuits in New Jersey over Invokana kidney injuries

by Eric Pearson

Proceedings for a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving lawsuits filed over kidney injuries linked to the diabetes medication Invokana is now underway in New Jersey. The Invokana MDL currently includes dozens of lawsuits filed by patients who suffered kidney damage or other injuries after taking the diabetes drug.

Invokana part of a class of drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors that are prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. The drug works by blocking sugar from being reabsorbed into the body; instead the drug causes sugars to be excreted through the urine. By doing so, the drug helps to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetes patients without causing hypoglycemia or weight gain like other diabetes drugs.

Concerns about the safety of Invokana arose in July 2016 after the Food and Drug Administration warned that using the diabetes drug or three other medications in its class could cause serious kidney injuries. Kidney injuries that have been linked to Invokana include kidney failure, kidney damage, and diabetic ketoacidosis (high levels of acidity in the blood). In May 2016, the FDA had also warned that Invokana users were twice as likely to undergo amputations, mostly in the lower limbs.

In September 2016, 56 plaintiffs who had filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals after suffering kidney injuries linked to Invokana filed a motion to have their cases consolidated in the federal MDL. The 56 lawsuits had originally been filed across 11 federal districts. New Jersey was chosen as the location for the MDL because Johnson & Johnson is located in New Brunswick, while Janssen is located one hour south in Titusville.

In December 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Martinotti granted the plaintiffs motion to create the Invokana MDL. At that time, the MDL included 55 lawsuits filed by Invokana users in federal court, as well as 44 related actions. One month later, Judge Martinotti appointed two attorneys to serve as co-lead counsels in the MDL. Judge Martinotti also appointed a liaison counsel, a three-member executive committee, and an eight-member steering committee to help oversee the litigation.

The lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen allege that the two companies knew about the risk of kidney damage and diabetic ketoacidosis linked to Invokana. The plaintiffs allege that despite this information, the companies failed to warn doctors and patients about the serious health risks associated with the diabetes drug.

In addition to the roughly 100 lawsuits involved in the New Jersey Invokana MDL, Johnson & Johnson an Janssen are also facing more than 40 lawsuits filed by Invokana users in Pennsylvania state court. These lawsuits also allege that the two drugmakers failed to properly warn about the risk of kidney damage and other injuries associated with the use of Invokana.

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Invokana Users With Kidney Damage

Patients who have suffered kidney failure, kidney damage, or ketoacidosis after using Invokana may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in finding out whether you qualify to file a claim is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you through the first steps in taking legal action.

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured by dangerous drugs or other medical products. Our attorneys have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and have achieved settlements in hundreds more on behalf of our clients. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when pharmaceutical companies manufacture dangerous drugs or medical devices, they should be held responsible for the injuries caused by these products in a court of law.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is one of the leading pharmaceutical tort firms in the country. Our firm has handled more cases involving the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl than all other law firms in the U.S. combined. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has also filed lawsuits in a number of other pharmaceutical dockets, including cases involving the blood thinners Pradaxa or Xarelto, Yasmin birth control pills, the diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia, Zofran, and other dangerous prescriptions drugs.

For more information about the lawsuits involving Invokana and to find out whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.