Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Gastrointestinal Issues, Chronic Diarrhea

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New Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Gastrointestinal Issues
New Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Gastrointestinal Issues

Benicar Sprue-Like Enteropathy Lawsuits

A Benicar lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Florida man who alleges that the hypertension drug caused gastrointestinal symptoms, including chronic diarrhea. As with other Benicar lawsuits, he alleges that his gastrointestinal issues were caused by Benicar and that manufacturers Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories failed to warn about the risks.

The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in lawsuits involving drug side effects. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a Benicar lawsuit.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleges that Benicar side effects prompted the need for medical treatment, and left him unable to work or leave the house. The suit alleges that adverse events from Benicar caused emotional and economic damages.

Sprue-like enteropathy causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, weight loss and malnutrition. In 2013, the Benicar label was updated to warn about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. Product liability lawsuits have been filed against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories alleging the companies knew Benicar could cause sprue-like enteropathy but failed to warn patients or their physicians.

The FDA said in its July 2013 Drug Safety Communication that Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics may lead to sprue-like enteropathy, which leads to intestinal symptoms causing “severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss” regulators said. The agency noted that Mayo Clinic researchers had similar findings in 22 case reports.

A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2013 found that some patients with intestinal symptoms who tested negative for celiac disease developed Benicar-related sprue-like enteropathy. The authors wrote, “The role of medications in the development of VA [villous atrophy] and the optimal dose and length of immunosuppression for patients with US [unclassified sprue] should be investigated further.”

Another Benicar lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Oklahoma woman. The plaintiff began taking Benicar in 2013 to control her high blood pressure. According to her lawsuit, she developed nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, malabsorption, malnutrition, villous atrophy, sprue-like enteropathy, colitis and dehydration due to Benicar use. She alleges that Benicar manufacturers failed to inform her and her doctor about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. The complaint states that complications forced her to undergo emergency intervention, resulting in substantial medical bills. The plaintiff alleges that she would have chosen a different option if she knew about the potential side effects.

Benicar Intestinal Problems MDL

Benicar lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), a type of mass tort that transfers similar lawsuits to one court before one judge. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) establishes MDLs in order to streamline the legal process and eliminate duplicate discovery, making litigation more efficient. U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler is presiding over the Benicar MDL in New Jersey.

In the Benicar MDL, lawsuits allege that the high-blood pressure drug caused sprue-like enteropathy and subsequent intestinal symptoms, which include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, colitis and other related symptoms. Plaintiffs allege that Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories knew about the risks but failed to warn patients or the medical community.
Lawsuits in an MDL remain separate. This is distinct from a class action lawsuit, where one complaint represents numerous plaintiffs against a common defendant.

The first lawsuits in a mass tort to go to trial are “bellwether cases”. Plaintiffs are often selected as bellwether plaintiffs because they represent the majority of plaintiffs, and the purpose of the bellwether trial is to get a general sense of how the litigation would proceed. Bellwether trials can facilitate settlement talks, for example, if juries continually award large verdicts to the plaintiff.

New Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Gastrointestinal Issues
New Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Gastrointestinal Issues

More than 1,700 Benicar lawsuits are filed into the MDL, court documents indicate. Bellwether trials are scheduled to begin sometime in 2017. The original target date was for late 2016, but pretrial motions appear to be running until at least Mar. 31, 2017. In addition to the MDL, Benicar lawsuits have also been filed in New Jersey state court before Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson.

Lawsuits in the MDL allege that Benicar caused intestinal symptoms such as chronic diarrhea and malnutrition. Some plaintiffs allege that the hypertension drug caused them to suffer diarrhea 10 or 20 times a day, leading to severe weight loss of 75 to 100 pounds.

Filing a Benicar Lawsuit

If you or someone you know has questions about filing a Benicar lawsuit, contact Parker Waichman today. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).