Information on Lipitor Class Action
Wednesday August 20, 2014
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a popular cholesterol-lowering medication first approved for sale in 1996. Since its release on the U.S. market, however, an increasing number of women have reported new-onset Type 2 diabetes with use of Lipitor. In lawsuits nationwide, plaintiffs allege that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the risk of elevated blood sugar levels and diabetes associated with use of this medication. Individuals who wish to consult a lawyer about a Lipitor class action lawsuit can reach our office at (888) 868-2234 or online at any time.
Lipitor Class Action Not Yet Formed
Claims involving widely used products like Lipitor are often believed to be part of a class action lawsuit. A Lipitor class action lawsuit, however, has not been established in the United States. Rather, each Lipitor plaintiff files suit individually in the appropriate state or federal court. Cases are then resolved by settlement or other means according to the specific facts of each case.
While a Lipitor class action has not been formed, individual Lipitor lawsuits may still be coordinated with one another to promote a more expedient resolution. For instance, on October 7, 2013 a federal judge in Illinois ordered that all Lipitor lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois be coordinated for purposes of discovery and pretrial proceedings. Judge Michael Reagan found that coordination would promote efficiency in all the cases involved and avoid the potential for inconsistent rulings. A similar coordinated proceeding was established in the District of South Carolina by joint stipulation of the parties.
Under federal law 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation may consolidate all federal Lipitor lawsuits across the country before a single U.S. district court judge. Such matters become known as multidistrict litigation (or MDL). In August 2013, the Panel declined to establish a Lipitor MDL because only five cases had been filed in three federal district courts. By October 2013, the number had grown to 62 cases filed in 21 federal district courts. Accordingly, plaintiffs renewed their request to establish a Lipitor multidistrict litigation, also citing "thousands" of additional claims expected to be filed.
As in federal court, cases filed in state courts may be coordinated with other Lipitor lawsuits in a given state. These matters become known as "mass tort" or "multicounty" litigation. At the present time, Lipitor mass tort litigation has not been formed in any state.
Lipitor Class Action Compared
Complex pharmaceutical litigation like that involving atorvastatin is not well suited for class action proceedings. In a Lipitor class action lawsuit, each plaintiff who suffered a particular injury would be placed in a pre-designated category. Each category would represent a general type of Lipitor class action injury. At the end of the lawsuit, each plaintiff in a given category would receive the same amount in compensation.
In a multidistrict (federal court) or multicounty (state court) litigation, by contrast, each Lipitor plaintiff receives compensation based on the specific facts of her case and the unique legal damages she suffered. Given the complicated nature of atorvastatin side effects such as Type 2 diabetes and its unique impact on victims' lives, our lawyers believe individual lawsuits offer a more just and thorough means of compensation than could be achieved under a Lipitor class action.
Finding a Qualified Lipitor Class Action Lawyer
Our Lipitor lawyers are experienced in MDL, mass tort, and class action cases. In the absence of a Lipitor class action lawsuit, our attorneys can evaluate your individual Lipitor claim at no cost. Call (888) 868-2234 or use our online form to speak with one of our lawyers today.