Thousands of consumers have filed lawsuits over valsartan. They claim the blood pressure medication caused cancer. In one year, 600 lots of valsartan were recalled due to carcinogens in the drug. Thus, manufacturers may face an uphill battle defending themselves against these personal injury claims.
A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in a living thing.
Two carcinogens were found in valsartan medications:
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) NDMA causes tumor growth in animals. It was used in the past in rocket fuel manufacturing. It is classified as a probable human carcinogen by U.S. and international regulatory agencies.
N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) NDEA is a synthetic oil known to cause cancer in animals. It is classified as a probable human carcinogen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the initial recalls in 2018. Since then, consumers have filed individual lawsuits and class action suits against valsartan manufacturers and distributors. Multidistrict litigation (MDL) related to valsartan products was formed in October 2018.
Early Valsartan Class Action Lawsuits
In August 2018, Eric J. Erwin filed a valsartan class action lawsuit against four drug companies. He listed Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc., Solco Healthcare, Huahai US and Teva Pharmaceuticals as defendants. Erwin filed individually and on behalf of other valsartan users affected by the recalls.
In the complaint, he claims the defendants were aware of the carcinogen in valsartan as early as 2012. Despite this knowledge, they continued to distribute the generic drug. He also raised claims of fraud and deception against the pharmaceutical companies.
Erwin filed his class action lawsuit in the United States District Court in the District of New Jersey. His case was later included in the MDL.
In a class action lawsuit, one individual (or a small number of individuals) represents a group of plaintiffs. Typically, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit are grouped by one main similarity. In this case, they all must have been harmed in the same manner by the defective valsartan.
In October 2018, a motion was filed to merge 11 valsartan lawsuits into an MDL. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey was chosen to oversee the MDL. The 11 cases included ten valsartan class action lawsuits and one individual lawsuit.
On February 14, 2019, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created a new MDL for valsartan cases. MDL 2875 initially included 55 lawsuits filed across multiple U.S. district courts. As of July 2020, there are more than 500 valsartan legal actions in the MDL.
The court has made many adjustments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These changes were intended to protect court officials and the public while allowing cases to proceed. Despite these adjustments, it may be quite some time before bellwether trials are scheduled for MDL 2875.
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is another method that courts use to merge lawsuits. Unlike a class action lawsuit, individual cases remain separate in an MDL. However, certain phases of litigation are combined for all the lawsuits. This speeds up the process of trying hundreds of similar cases.
If you or a loved one meet the criteria listed above, you should consider a free case evaluation with our experienced legal partners. Our legal partners have decades of experience handling personal injury cases. They can offer legal advice and help you understand your legal rights. They can also answer any questions you might have about the filing process.
Valsartan Lawsuit FAQs
What is Valsartan?
Valsartan is the active ingredient in Diovan and generic valsartan. It is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). ARBs help prevent blood vessels from tightening. Valsartan is prescribed for high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. It is sold as brand name Diovan and generic valsartan.
More than 600 medications containing valsartan have been recalled. To see the full list, visit our valsartan recall page.
Additionally, manufacturers recalled more than 400 other contaminated blood pressure medications including losartan medications. Visit our losartan recall page to learn more about the recalls and which lots of drugs were affected.
Have There Been Any Valsartan Lawsuit Settlements or Verdicts?
No valsartan lawsuit settlements or verdicts have been announced at this time.
What Compensation Can I Expect?
No valsartan lawsuit settlements or verdicts have been determined. So the range of compensation is still unclear. In general, plaintiffs filing similar lawsuits may seek the following legal damages:
Plaintiffs may seek the cost of cancer treatment. This may include side effect management, follow-up appointments and ongoing care.
Plaintiffs may seek money for lost income if they work less or not at all as a result of their cancer diagnoses. This can include potential future income.
Plaintiffs may seek compensation for pain and suffering caused by cancer.
Plaintiffs may seek compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress.
Plaintiffs may seek punitive damages to financially punish the drug manufacturers for negligence.
How Long Do I Have to File a Valsartan Lawsuit?
A person may no longer be eligible to file a valsartan lawsuit once the statute of limitations passes. The earlier you file a lawsuit, the better chance you have of receiving a payout.
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline. There is no federal statute of limitations. States determine the legal deadlines for every type of lawsuit. Therefore, the time limit to file a lawsuit for a crime or civil offense varies from state to state.
How Much Does It Cost to File a Lawsuit Against Valsartan?
You won't pay any legal fees until you receive payment through a favorable verdict or settlement. Our legal partners understand that money can be a barrier to filing a lawsuit. We make it easy by taking cases on a contingency basis.