Attorneys representing consumers in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) accusing testosterone treatment manufacturers of failing to warn that their products carried cardiovascular risks asked an Illinois federal judge to fine AbbVie Inc., nearly a half million dollars for misusing a records-collecting process to challenge almost 1,000 cases.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys told U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly that AbbVie, maker of the top-selling AndroGel testosterone replacement therapy, was improperly using the plaintiff profile forms in an attempt to have the cases dismissed. As a result, the plaintiffs’ steering committee has spent tremendous time and effort to respond to the drug company’s issues. The committee asked Judge Kennelly to fine AbbVie $500 per challenge, of which there were 994, for a total of $497,000.
In December, Judge Kennelly ordered all plaintiffs in the MDL to fill out patient profile forms and include information regarding pharmacy and medical records. If the defendants found the forms deficient, the judge could order plaintiffs to show why their cases should not be dismissed. In cases where the plaintiff failed to respond or address problems, the judge could dismiss their case.
In April, AbbVie began submitting deficiency notices, exhausting the plaintiffs steering committee with increasing expenses. The committee pointed out that AbbVie tried the same approach to dismiss 70 cases pending in Cook County Circuit Court, but summary judgment was rejected in most cases due to questions of fact.
“AbbVie’s continued and improper use of the profile form process has wasted a tremendous amount of time and resources and will continue to do so unless and until it is sanctioned,” the committee argued.