The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order yesterday consolidating multiple federal lawsuits filed by plaintiffs represented by Elias LLC alleging that Tasigna — a leukemia drug manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. — caused them to suffer accelerated and severe cardiovascular disease, resulting in amputations, heart attacks, and strokes. The Panel sent 20 pending federal cases to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida for centralized proceedings. The Honorable Roy B. Dalton, Jr. will preside over the proceedings.
Elias LLC, joined by its co-counsel Onder Law LLC and Parker Waichman LLP, moved for the consolidation on behalf of its clients, arguing that consolidation was in the best interest of the parties, their counsel, and the courts. The Panel agreed:
After considering the argument of counsel, we find that centralization of these actions in the Middle District of Florida will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. All actions can be expected to share factual questions arising from allegations that Novartis failed to appropriately warn of the risks that use of Tasigna may cause severe atherosclerotic injuries. Despite warning doctors and patients in Canada of the heightened risks of atherosclerotic-related conditions, plaintiffs contend that Novartis concealed its knowledge of Tasigna’s unreasonably dangerous risks from plaintiffs, other consumers, and the medical community in the U.S. All plaintiffs bring claims for strict products liability – failure to warn and negligence. Issues of general causation and Tasigna’s labeling and regulatory history appear common to all actions. Centralization offers substantial opportunity to streamline pretrial proceedings; reduce duplicative discovery and conflicting pretrial obligations; prevent inconsistent rulings on common Daubert challenges and summary judgment motions; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.
Notably, nearly 200 Tasigna cases brought by Elias LLC and its co-counsel were recently consolidated under a similar procedure in New Jersey state court. With both the federal and state consolidations, the global Tasigna products liability litigation is poised for a swift and just resolution.