The United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is scheduled to meet on December 1, 2011, in Savannah, Georgia to hear arguments on whether all federal Actos cases should be centralized, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1407, for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings, and if so, which federal district is the appropriate forum for these proceedings.  As we have previously advised, new studies show that diabetics taking Actos may be at an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

A motion was initially filed by a plaintiff in August 2011, requesting that all Actos lawsuits filed in the various federal district courts throughout the United States be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge G. Patrick Murphy.  Currently, more than a dozen lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturers of Actos with hundreds more expected in the near future.

Just recently, the attorneys for manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, filed a response with the United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, advising that they agree with plaintiffs that an MDL should be formed, but requested that the cases be consolidated in either the Northern District of Illinois or the Western District of Louisiana.

Granting MDL treatment will streamline the lawsuits, allowing the parties to avoid duplicative discovery and inconsistent rulings from different judges.  Additionally, MDL treatment will provide more convenience for the witnesses, the parties and the court.  During the pretrial litigation, the MDL judge will manage discovery and likely select a group of cases for early trials, also known as bellwether cases.

If you feel you have experienced adverse side-effects from taking Actos, you can contact Stark & Stark and speak to one of the Mass Tort/Pharmaceutical Litigation attorneys, free of charge, who can help assess any claims that you might have against the manufacturers of Actos.