Drug maker AbbVie Inc. asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit alleging the company’s testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel causes injuries, arguing the plaintiff withheld information about his condition until after the discovery process was completed.
AbbVie told U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago that Froylan Garcia’s claim was no longer valid because his attorney did not find an expert witness to back up his claims that AndroGel caused him to develop a blood clot in 2013.
Garcia’s case was one of eight selected by Judge Kennelly to serve as bellwether trials in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) of more than 5,500 lawsuits alleging testosterone treatment caused users to suffer serious injuries. AndroGel is the top-selling testosterone treatment and the brand named in most of the lawsuits pending in Illinois. Thus, Judge Kennelly decided that all the bellwether cases would involve plaintiffs who used AndroGel.
Other testosterone supplements named in the MDL include Axiron, Testim, Androderm, and Depo-testosterone. Most of the claims allege the testosterone treatment caused serious cardiovascular risks including heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, and claim that the drug companies failed to adequately warn consumers of the risks associated with their products.
Four of the eight bellwethers selected involved plaintiffs who took AndroGel and suffered a heart attack. The other four involve plaintiffs who used testosterone gel and suffered a blood clot such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
The first testosterone side effects lawsuit in the MDL is scheduled to go to trial in June 2017.