“Lone Pine” Request Rejected by Court in Fosamax Litigation
Merck, the pharmaceutical firm behind osteoporosis medication Fosamax, is facing nearly 1,000 product liability lawsuits from plaintiffs alleging the drug caused severe and debilitating jaw damage. The litigation has been coordinated for pre-trial proceedings before the Honorable John F. Keegan in New York District Court.
Judge Keegan recently denied Merck’s request for a “Lone Pine” order that would have forced some plaintiffs to supply the court with additional information to support their case. The company had hoped the order would limit claimants to those who had taken Fosamax for less than one year, not taken it for three years before they suffered injury, failed to produce medical records diagnosing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), or if their exposure to the drug was more than three years before they sustained jaw damage. If the application had been successful, the Lone Pine order would have affected nearly two thirds of the outstanding lawsuits.
With Merck contesting the possibility of cases being returned to their court of origin, it may take months or even years before litigants see any compensation. In the meantime, they may need a medical device legal loan to help them bridge the gap between filing a lawsuit and winning damages. LawStreet Capital is committed to providing Fosamax lawsuit funding to help relieve the economic pressures on plaintiffs awaiting compensation payouts.
Lone Pine order deemed unfair
The rejected Lone Pine order was ruled unfair by Judge Keenan because the Court could not objectively single out plaintiffs without a diagnosis, since medical records are not always interpreted in the same way. Additionally, the Court determined that Merck’s attempt to deter plaintiffs who had used Fosamax for less than a year was unfair because the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ definition of ONJ does not specify a number of years.
Judge Keegan has recently intimated that he may begin remanding hundreds of lawsuits back to the District Courts in which they were originally filed. The proposal follows a number of early bellwether trials which were heard to help parties involved in the multidistrict litigation gauge the likely response of juries. Despite the hearings, no settlement has been reached, and the complainants are lobbying the court to return cases to their original courts for individual disposition. Merck has consistently opposed such a move, as individual trials around the country would be costlier and more time consuming.
Fosamax lawsuit funding
Fosamax was introduced as a treatment for osteoporosis in the mid-nineties. By 2008, it was generating over $3 billion annually for Merck. In recent years the firm has been faced with a growing number of lawsuits alleging the drug caused jaw and femur damage. Plaintiffs involved in legal action also allege that Merck failed to adequately warn consumers of the risks.
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To find out more about obtaining Fosamax lawsuit funding, or any other kind of medical device legal loan, contact LawStreet Capital. Call toll-free at 1.866.FUND.662 to speak to one of our representatives and begin the application process.