Invokana Lawsuits

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Invokana lawsuits claim the diabetes drug manufacturer failed to warn patients of extreme side effects like a higher risk of lower limb amputation, Fournier’s gangrene, diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney failure. Invokana patients have filed 1,100 lawsuits in state and federal courts against Johnson & Johnson, many of which are currently pending lawsuit settlement.

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Why Are People Filing Invokana Lawsuits?

In March 2013, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved canagliflozin, the active ingredient in Invokana, the drug was praised as the first of a new class of diabetes medications called SGLT2 inhibitors. Since then, the drug has helped many people with type 2 diabetes, in combination with diet and exercise, to reduce blood sugar levels, lose weight, and lower blood pressure. However, in some cases Invokana has also been linked with complications, such as an increased risk of foot and lower leg amputations. As a result the FDA, has required warnings to be added to the label about the potential severe Invokana side effects.

Many legal claims cite results from the CANVAS and CANVAS-R clinical trials as evidence that Janssen could have done more to warn consumers about the risks of taking Invokana. Instead, the drugmaker promoted the medication as safe for diabetes patients, even promoting it for off-label purposes to treat weight loss, reduce blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular function. Since Janssen failed to provide proper warnings, however, consumers were unable to make an informed choice about whether to take the drug.

Lower-Limb Amputations Increased by Invokana

Diabetes can cause severe foot problems due to poor circulation, nerve damage, and peripheral arterial disease. In some instances, these problems can require a partial or complete amputation of the foot or lower leg. In May 2016, the FDA issued an initial safety alert informing the public that taking Invokana or Invokamet can increase the need for a leg or foot amputation. Then, about a year later, the agency issued a second safety warning, adding that the risk of amputation when taking Invokana was nearly double the risk of diabetes patients who did not take the drug. As a result, the FDA required a black box warning be added to the drug label.

Many of the Invokana lawsuits against Janssen accuse the company of failing to warn them of the higher risk of amputation. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for the costs of treatment, pain and suffering caused by amputations, and related expenses.

Fournier’s Gangrene and SGLT2 Inhibitor

In August 2018, the FDA issued a warning about a newly discovered serious side effect of Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors called Fournier’s gangrene (also known as necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum). This rare condition is caused by an infection in and around the genitals in both males and females, and it can lead to serious damage to the body – and in rare cases, even death.

Patients who take Invokana and experience any of the following symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately:

  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Swelling of the genitals
  • Swelling of the perineum (area between the genitals and the anus)

While Fournier’s gangrene is relatively rare in the general population, the FDA found a significantly higher risk of developing the condition in those who take Invokana or another SGLT2 inhibitor (such as Invokamet, Farxiga, Xigduo, or Jardiance). The regulatory agency discovered 12 adverse events (7 men, 5 women) in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors over a five year period from May 2013 to May 2018, while only 6 cases had been discovered in the preceding 30 years for other diabetes medications.

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Other Severe Side Effects Mentioned in Invokana Lawsuits

In addition to the higher risk of lower body amputations and developing Fournier’s gangrene, other dangerous side effects have been named in Invokana lawsuits against Janssen and J&J.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis – A life-threatening complication that occurs when high levels of blood acids accumulate in the bloodstream. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis can cause dehydration, brain swelling, coma, and death.

Kidney FailureA review of reports by the FDA in 2016 showed that people who take Invokana have a higher risk of acute kidney injury, which can require hospitalization and dialysis.

Acute Pancreatitis – Although rare, case reports have linked Invokana to a sudden inflammation of the pancreas, an abdominal organ that produces insulin and other hormones. Researchers believe this happens because of the drug’s diuretic (dehydrating) effect, and it can lead to a variety of other health problems.

Invokana FDA Warnings

  • May 2015 – Many reports of ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) requiring hospitalization
  • September 2015 – Label update warning about increased risk of bone fracture
  • December 2015 – Label change for SGLT2 inhibitors about increased risk of ketoacidosis and serious urinary tract infections
  • May 2016 – First amputation warning based on interim analysis of CANVAS and CANVAS-R studies
  • June 2016 – Communication to doctors with stronger warnings about kidney injury risks
  • May 2017 – Second amputation warning, requiring a label update with a boxed warning
  • August 2018 – Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors may lead to a flesh-eating genital infection (Fournier’s gangrene or necrotizing fasciitis)

Invokana Litigation

According to Johnson & Johnson’s most recent quarterly report, the company is facing approximately 1,100 Invokana lawsuits. Most of these cases have been filed in various federal district courts throughout the country, but some of them have also been filed in state courts, primarily in California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine which venue is right for your case.

Federal Invokana Lawsuits (MDL 2750)

Most Invokana lawsuits have been organized into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey under the designation MDL 2750. The MDL process makes it more efficient to handle many legal complaints that are the same or similar, and it has been used frequently to handle defective drugs, medical devices, and consumer products.

State Invokana Lawsuits

Some plaintiffs may have a better chance at receiving compensation from state courts, depending on the state’s laws and other factors. Pennsylvania has seen more Invokana lawsuits filed than other states, although there are quite a few lawsuits filed in New Jersey and California as well. When considering a state court for litigation, it is important to understand the statutes of limitations, which are effectively deadlines by which individuals must file or risk losing their legal rights to seek compensation.

Invokana Settlements and Verdicts

In October 2018, Janssen Pharmaceuticals file a motion to settle many of the 1,100 Invokana lawsuits against the company. According to a motion to established a qualified settlement fund filed on October 16, 2018, the Invokana settlement amount is confidential.

Full details of the settlement are still being negotiated as of December 2018. If you or a loved one has been hurt by side effects of Invokana or Invokamet, you should discuss your case with an experienced lawyer today.

Invokana Lawsuit FAQs

Get answers to some of the most common questions about Invokana lawsuits below.

Can I File an Invokana Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one has experienced one of the following severe side effects after being prescribed Invokana, you could be eligible to file a legal claim:

  • Lower-leg, foot, or toe amputation
  • Fournier’s gangrene

To find out if your case is eligible for a lawsuit, you should connect with an Invokana law firm right away for a free evaluation. Your lawyer will be able to assess your situation and help you determine the best way to move forward.

What Compensation Is Available for Invokana Lawsuits?

Legal compensation for drug-related product liability cases depends primarily on the individual’s experiences. Things that judges and juries take into account include how long the person suffered from the drug’s side effects, how much it cost the patient and their family to treat those effects, and whether the person suffered from any temporary or permanent disability as a result of the drug.

Those who file lawsuits related to Invokana and other canagliflozin-based drugs (such as Invokamet and Invokamet XR) generally seek economic and noneconomic damages in a couple of different areas:

  • Medical Bills – The actual costs paid out of pocket for surgery, prescriptions, follow-up appointments, and other health-related activities. Costs of travel and lodging to and from expert medical providers could also be covered.
  • Lost Income – If a person had to take a leave of absence or leave their job due to the effects of Invokana, they could get compensation for that lost income. This may also include potential future income, if the individual is permanently disabled.
  • Pain and Suffering – This can include both physical pain caused by the direct side effects, as well as mental anguish experienced as a result of the trauma.
  • Loss of Companionship – The inability to engage in a full relationship with your spouse or partner (sometimes called loss of consortium) is another type of noneconomic damages that some plaintiffs seek.
  • Funeral Expenses – If a patient passes away as a result of the drug, their family could seek expenses related to their loved one’s untimely death.

If you or a loved one wants to know more about the type of damages you could seek when filing an Invokana lawsuit, you should sign up for a free case review today.

How Much Does an Invokana Lawyer Cost?

Lawyers focusing on Invokana lawsuits and other drug-related product liability cases typically will not charge anything up front. Instead, they will only accept payment once they have helped you receive compensation from a settlement, verdict, or another legal method. When you meet with the lawyer for your free case review, you should ask about the terms of payment, so that you are familiar with how the process works.

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