Plaintiffs in Pennsylvania are seeking mass tort status for a growing number of Invokana lawsuits now pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. According to a report from The Legal Intelligencer, 87 cases have already been filed in the jurisdiction, all of which allege that use of the Type 2 diabetes medication caused patients to develop ketoacidosis or kidney failure.
In a September 23rd petition filed with Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center, the Invokana plaintiffs noted that all of the cases put forth nearly identical allegations regarding Johnson & Johnson’s purported failure to warn patients and doctors about the risks associated with use of the medication. They further assert that the number of claims could double, and maintain that consolidation of the docket will promote judicial efficiency.
“In addition to significant financial savings, consolidation of these cases will promote the convenience of the parties and efficiency during pretrial proceedings, duplicative discovery will be eliminated, and there will be no risk of inconsistent judicial rulings,” the petition said.
The petition’s filing came just days after federal Invokana lawsuit claimants filed their own motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation seeking centralization of their cases. The motion noted that 56 claims alleging ketoacidosis, kidney injury and heart attacks had been filed in 11 federal jurisdictions. Plaintiffs are seeking to have that docket transferred to the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, where 36 of the lawsuit have been filed.
This past December, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the manufacturers of Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitor medications to add new warnings to their prescribing information regarding a possible risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition caused by the accumulation of toxic acid in the blood. At that time, the labeling was also updated to include information about life-threatening blood infections (urosepsis) and kidney infections (pyelonephritis) that originate as urinary tract infections.
In June of this year, the agency ordered the manufacturers of four SGLT2 inhibitors — Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga and Xigduo XR — to strengthen label warnings regarding kidney complications, after the drugs were cited in more than 100 reports of acute kidney injury.