Both parties in the first bellwether trial in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) of about 7,000 cases alleging cardiovascular risk with testosterone replacement therapy agree that the trial should not be split into a liability phase and a separate damages phase, according to Law360.
The MDL targets several different manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapies, but the first six bellwether trials name AbbVie Laboratories, maker of the top selling AndroGel. Those suing the drug companies claim that they were pushed into asking their doctors for the hormone treatment by manufacturers’ aggressive marketing campaigns that promised to boost libido, help with weight loss and increase muscle mass.
But, plaintiffs claim, studies dating back to the 1970s showed that testosterone therapy was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death. The lawsuits claim testosterone makers never adequately warned of this risk.
The trial begins June 5 for plaintiffs Jeffrey Konrad, Jana Conrad, Jesse Mitchell and Kimberly Mitchell. Both parties filed documents over the Memorial Day weekend agreeing that the trial should not be divided into two phases.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly rejected AbbVie’s motion for a summary judgment, ruling that the drug company must face the bulk of claims brought by the seven people whose cases were selected to serve as bellwethers.
Testosterone treatments are indicated for hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough of the male hormone due to injury or defect. It is not intended for age-related hypogonadism.