When Elmiron was released in 1996, the manufacturer of the drug neglected to inform consumers about its potential to cause vision loss. This side effect wasn’t discovered until 2018, when a group of doctors published a study concluding that the drug, used to treat pain from interstitial cystitis, can accumulate in the body overtime and damage the retina.
Now that the truth is out, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Elmiron’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. If you’ve taken Elmiron in the past and are currently suffering from vision problems, Pendleton Law can help you pursue justice. One of our Elmiron lawsuit attorneys can build a strong case and demand that Janssen compensate you for your injury.
How Much You Can Receive From an Elmiron Lawsuit
Since the first Elmiron plaintiffs have yet to receive a settlement or jury verdict, it’s hard to predict exactly how much you can expect to receive from your lawsuit. However, you can get a ballpark estimate by simply adding together the losses you’ve incurred as a result of your injury.
To get the most accurate figure possible, you’ll want to speak with a seasoned Elmiron lawsuit attorney. They’ll offer realistic estimates and work with forensic economic experts, who can assign value to damages that are difficult for the layperson to calculate, like future lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
The Current State of Elmiron Lawsuits
Since the study connecting Elmiron to vision loss was published, over 800 lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. None of them have yet to be brought before a court, but the first cases are expected to go to trial in 2023.
Many of the plaintiffs involved have opted to join the multidistrict litigation, or MDL, established to hold Janssen liable for its wrongdoing. MDL’s are well suited for product liability cases where thousands of people are injured. That’s because grouping multiple cases into one lawsuit makes proceedings more efficient and reduces the stress put on the court.
However, some individuals have chosen to pursue individual lawsuits instead. The benefit of filing an individual lawsuit is that you’ll have a better chance of securing damages that are harder to calculate, like lost future income. If you’re not sure if you want to pursue an MDL or an individual lawsuit, an Elmiron lawyer from our firm can help you weigh the pros and cons.
Damages You Might Receive From an Elmiron Lawsuit or MDL
The goal of any Elmiron lawsuit or MDL is to secure damages, or compensation for the losses you’ve experienced from taking Elmiron. Damages are often broken up into two categories, economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages compensate for monetary losses including:
- Treatment and surgery expenses
- Medication costs
- Assistive devices
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature, and sometimes require the testimony of a doctor or mental health professional. Such experts can lend credibility to your claim and show the jury why awarding these damages is just as necessary as awarding economic damages.
If you’ve experienced vision problems from Elmiron, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit for the following non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
How Long Your Elmiron Lawsuit Will Take to Resolve
Drug-related injury cases can take a considerable amount of time to resolve. You can expect a particularly lengthy “discovery stage”, especially since there are no prior Elmiron cases to refer to. To make matters worse, COVID-19 has caused significant delays in courts across the country.
The good news is that there’s a robust scientific consensus surrounding the vision-related side effects of Elmiron. This will make holding Janssen Pharmaceuticals liable for losses much more straightforward and far less time-consuming.
To get a better idea of how long your Elmiron lawsuit will take, you’ll want to speak to an experienced attorney. They’ll consider your individual circumstances, including your damages and the extent of your vision loss, when making an estimation.
Qualifying for an Elmiron Lawsuit
Before you file an Elmiron lawsuit, you’ll want to be certain that you qualify for the compensation you’re asking for. The individuals currently pursuing Elmiron lawsuits have reported side effects including:
- Blurred vision
- Halo vision
- Reduced night vision
- Unilateral or bilateral blindness
- Vision loss
- Pigmentary maculopathy
- Macular retinopathy
If you’re not sure if your losses fall into these categories, a Virginia Elmiron attorney can help you reach out to a medical professional who can assess your situation. A third-party opinion can make it easier for you to present your claim to a county clerk.
Note, too, that you’ll need to have taken Elmiron prior to Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ inclusion of vision-related side effects on their Elmiron bottles. If you started taking Elmiron after vision loss was added to the side effect list, you won’t qualify for damages.
How Long It Takes for Elmiron’s Vision-Related Side Effects to Appear
It’s important to note that in many cases, Elmiron’s vision related side effects haven’t appeared until after 14 years of regular use. If you’ve been taking Elmiron for several years and haven’t experienced any vision problems, you might not be in the clear.
Make sure to see your ophthalmologist regularly to get checked for retinal damage. Catching vision loss early on can help you mitigate further damage, and allow you ample time to hire a lawyer and file an Elmiron lawsuit.
Understanding Liability in Elmiron Lawsuits
At this point in time, there’s little debate as to who is allegedly liable for Elmiron damages. The majority of current Elmiron cases request compensation from Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
That said, other Elmiron claims have cited liability with:
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, too, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. While the parent company has attempted to separate itself from today’s existing suits, there are some cases that bring up accusations against both organizations.
With that in mind, talk to an attorney about what institution you should hold liable for your Elmiron-related losses. The compensation you request may vary depending on the path you opt to take.
Proving Liability in an Elmiron Lawsuit
To hold these companies accountable for their losses, injured parties work to establish correlations between their losses and the companies’ actions. For example, Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ refusal to list visual side effects on the original Elmiron bottle failed to warn users about the risks of consumption. In turn, it’s said that patients suffered eye damage.
In the eyes of federal and state law, Janssen Pharmaceuticals owed its consumers a duty of protection. In failing to update their Elmiron warnings in a reasonable period of time, the company overlooked that duty. Because people were harmed due to that failure, the company can be brought to court over the injured parties’ losses.
This same logic can apply to cases involving other pharmaceutical manufacturers. All parties who wish to file applicable suits must outline this failed duty of care if they wish to pursue compensation.
Legal Deadline for Filing an Elmiron Lawsuit
Today’s Elmiron suits are based on what is known as a “failure to warn.” This term describes Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ failure to inform consumers of Elmiron’s vision-based side effects. Because Janssen Pharmaceuticals allegedly withheld this information, you can file a product liability suit against the company.
The legal deadline for filing a product liability claim is notoriously short. If you are unable to file within Virginia’s statute of limitations for such lawsuits, your chances of receiving compensation for your injury will be significantly reduced.
According to Va. Code § 8.01-243(A), you have two years from the date you discovered your vision loss to file an Elmiron lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this rule. An experienced attorney will give you a more accurate deadline based on your unique case.
Fielding Settlement Offers From Pharmaceutical Companies
When you do go to file an Elmiron lawsuit, know that there’s a chance the manufacturer may reach out with a settlement offer. Settlement offers can come at several points during the legal process. A company may reach out to you with a settlement offer before you have a chance to go to trial. Alternatively, a company may contact you during mid-trial negotiations.
Settlement offers are designed to help you cover losses related to your Elmiron usage. However, many companies attempt to overwhelm a plaintiffs with overly-generous offers in order to:
- Avoid court time
- Prevent you from fighting for the full compensation you deserve
You can compare a settlement offer against your own estimation with help from an attorney.
What to Expect From an Elmiron Trial
Going up against a large company like Janssen Pharmaceuticals may intimidate you. That’s understandable. It will comfort you to know that the team at Pendleton Law has stood up to powerful organizations in the past, and will draw on that experience to hold Janssen accountable.
We’ll also give you peace of mind by walking you through what your Elmiron case might look like. We also encourage you to ask questions and voice any concerns you have along the way. Our Elmiron lawsuit attorneys will make sure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the following stages of your case:
When you first go to file your Elmiron lawsuit, you’ll issue a summons to a pharmaceutical representative. That representative should respond to you within a month. Your complaint – a document accompanying your summons – will detail the extent of your perceived losses while using Elmiron.
This document should draw a clear correlation between your losses and Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ failure to warn you about the product’s potential to cause eye damage. You can also include an estimate of the compensation that you’re requesting.
The company’s answer to your complaint will let you know if a representative is open to negotiations. The liable party must respond to each allegation but has the opportunity to defend itself, opening your case up to a trial.
“Discovery” refers to the stage of the legal process in which all involved parties may pursue information regarding the case at hand. During the discovery phase of your Elmiron lawsuit, you’ll meet with a pharmaceutical representative to ask and answer questions regarding your condition and your Elmiron use.
That said, none of these exchanges may be derogatory. Instead, attorneys may rely on interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requisition for production to begin building a case.
You may also be asked to gather depositions. Depositions are statements issued by witnesses under oath. These statements will be recorded by a representative of a Virginia court and can be used throughout the trial process.
Opening Statements and Witness Testimony
Attending parties will have another opportunity to discuss a settlement at this juncture. If no agreement is reached, your case will go to trial. Virginia courts will need time to bring together a jury and appoint a specific judge to the case.
At the beginning of the trial, both attending attorneys will present opening statements detailing the case at hand and the parties involved. Once opening statements have been delivered, both sides can bring forward witnesses to attest to the losses that you claim to have suffered. At this point, you will be permitted to request input from both bystanders and professional witnesses.
Elmiron bystanders can attest to the development of your vision problem. Professional witnesses, including medical representatives, can provide evidence of your condition. This evidence is particularly important if it identifies your vision as the specific form of maculopathy associated with Elmiron use, which was documented in Emory Eye magazine 2018.
Closing Arguments and Verdicts
Once witness statements have been presented and cross-examined, both attending attorneys will have an opportunity to make a final claim regarding your case. This is known as a closing argument. It should serve as a capstone to your claim, highlighting your losses and emphasizing Janssen’s liability.
After each attorney has delivered their closing statements, the judge and jury can break to deliberate. If a jury believes that you’re in the right, a judge may opt to use this time to add punitive damages to your case. Finally, your case will close with the delivery of the verdict.
Paying for an Elmiron Lawsuit Attorney Is Easy and Affordable
The Elmiron lawsuit lawyers from our firm make paying for their services incredibly easy, because they operate on a contingency-fee basis. That means they take a predetermined amount of your winnings to cover their legal fees.
If your case is successful, your attorney will take roughly one third of your verdict. If you aren’t awarded compensation for your losses, you won’t have to pay your attorney any out-of-pocket legal fees.
Get Started on Your Elmiron Lawsuit Today
Filing an Elmiron lawsuit is a little less intimidating when you know what to expect from your case. Our experienced lawyers are happy to help you manage your expectations and walk you through your case from start to finish.
If you’re ready to take legal action against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in an Elmiron lawsuit, reach out to the attorneys Christina Pendleton & Associates by filling out our contact form. Once you’ve submitted it, a representative from our team will reach out to you to schedule your free case consultation.