Will There be a Lipitor Class Action Lawsuit in 2014?
Written by Steve Fields on November 4, 2013
In recent months, women who believe that Lipitor contributed to their type 2 diabetes have been asking whether there will be a Lipitor diabetes class action lawsuit against the makers of this drug in 2014.
In February of 2014, the United States Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated pending claims against Pfizer in the form of an MDL, or multi-district litigation. The 2014 Lipitor MDL differs from a Lipitor class action lawsuit in several ways.
Differences Between an MDL and a Class Action
MDLs are similar to class actions in that they combine numerous legal complaints for the sake of speed and cost savings. However, there are also important differences between these two types of litigation:
- In a class action, a single attorney or team of attorneys represents all plaintiffs. In an MDL, each plaintiff is able to choose her own attorney.
- Class action lawsuit rulings are the same for all members of the class. For example, if a complaint is dismissed, the cases of all plaintiffs joined in the lawsuit are dismissed. Similarly, if a case is settled, all plaintiffs will receive identical settlement amounts, regardless of the severity of their injuries. MDLs are different in that each case is tried and settled independently.
- In a class action lawsuit, the entire complaint is heard by a single judge. In a multi-district litigation, the complaints are consolidated under a single judge for pretrial motions and discovery, but then each individual case is returned to the district in which it was filed for trial.
Lipitor Lawsuit Plantiff Motions for Consolidation
In August of 2013, the federal judicial panel denied a plaintiff’s motion to form a MDL from existing Lipitor complaints. There were not enough complaints, the judge argued, to justify centralizing lawsuits under a single court. At the time, the panel was aware of 24 total cases involving Lipitor and diabetes.
More recently, on October 10, 2013, a second request was filed. This time, attorneys believed there would be enough complaints to justify consolidation into an MDL—there were now over 60 lawsuits filed in numerous districts. Pfizer, on the other hand, has strongly opposed the formation of an MDL.
The JPML agreed with the plaintiffs, and granted the motion to consolidate the cases for pretrial. “Upon reevaluation, we find that a number of factors now tip the balance in favor of centralization.“1
Taking the next steps
Do you have interest in participating in multidistrict litigation against the maker of Lipitor? If you are a woman who developed diabetes after taking Lipitor, you may be eligible to file a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options and the 2014 Lipitor MDL, please contact our offices.
Call 1-888-210-9968 today—the call is free, and there is no cost to you unless you receive compensation for your injuries.1. In Re: Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (No. II)