On December 6, Judge James D. Cain Jr. rejected Novo Nordisk’s motion to dismiss a product liability lawsuit which alleges that the Ozempic manufacturer failed to warn users of the drug's risks. The ruling permitted the majority of the plaintiff’s claims to proceed but tentatively rejected an express warranty charge.
The other named Ozempic gastroparesis lawsuit defendant, Eli Lilly and Company, also filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiff’s complaint did not clearly establish the Mounjaro producer’s misconduct. The district court has not yet issued a decision on Eli Lilly’s filing.
Nevertheless, the recent ruling may prove highly consequential for the future of Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuits, which are expected to increase exponentially in the coming months.
Presiding Judge Accepts Ozempic Lawsuit Plaintiff’s Pleading, Rejects Express Warranty Charge
Jaclyn Bjorklund received a prescription for Ozempic for the treatment of Type II diabetes mellitus. She took the medication for more than one year, during which time she presented with severe gastrointestinal complications. After discontinuing use of the popular antidiabetic, she began taking Mounjaro in July 2023, which allegedly revived or intensified her medical issues.
The severity of her conditions and the lack of an adequate warning label from the drugs’ manufacturers led her to file an Ozempic gastroparesis lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company, in August 2023. The prominent pharmaceutical companies sought to dismiss the Ozempic and Mounjaro litigation in October and November, respectively, which resulted in Judge Cain’s ruling.
Ozempic Manufacturer Alleges Plaintiff Filed “Shotgun Pleading”
The primary objection Novo Nordisk advanced pertained to the overly broad and collective allegations contained within plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (FAC). The company argued that the generality of the pleading and its failure to assign specific instances of wrongdoing to the defendants violated Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).
Judge Cain concedes that the complaint does make various collective allegations. However, he asserts that it also “includes several distinct factual allegations as to the marketing of Ozempic”. In addition, Judge Cain holds that Novo Nordisk’s objection to the lack of information about prescribing physicians’ knowledge and competence, the timeline of Bjorklund’s adverse health events, and the facility at which she was treated is irrelevant at the pleading stage. Instead, Novo Nordisk must address such matters during the discovery process.
Plaintiff’s “Inadequate Warning” Claim Stands
Although the plaintiff filed suit in federal court, she relies upon a Louisiana state law to govern liability. The Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) employs a learned intermediary doctrine, which requires drug manufacturers to convey warnings about a medication’s risks to prescribing physicians.
Bjorklund alleges that Novo Nordisk failed to satisfy this responsibility, leading her inadequately informed healthcare providers to prescribe a drug that directly resulted in her injuries. Novo Nordisk objected, stating that the plaintiff failed to establish both causation and a breach of duty of care.
Judge Cain sustains Bjorklund’s argument, asserting that “she has set forth a plausible claim for relief”. Insofar as Novo Nordisk’s allegations were concerned, Judge Cain’s ruling states that the company’s objections required “evidence outside the scope of these pleadings”.
Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s “Express Warranty” Claim
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana accepted Novo Nordisk’s request to dismiss Bjorklund’s “breach of express warranty” claim. Judge Cain argues in his ruling that the plaintiff’s FAC did not identify “representations amounting to specific promises” about Ozempic’s safety and efficacy.
Nevertheless, the court dismissed the charge without prejudice, enabling Bjorklund to file another complaint which more appropriately identifies the false warranties Novo Nordisk made about Ozempic during its $884 million advertising blitz following FDA approval, in 2017.
Punitive Damages and Attorney Fees in Ozempic Lawsuit
The final issue Judge Cain resolved pertained to the plaintiff’s request for punitive damages and attorney fees, which Novo Nordisk asserted were not permissible under the LPLA. The court reaffirmed the Louisiana law’s lack of a provision for the imposition of punitive damages and the dispensation of attorney fees.
However, Judge Cain refrains from dismissing the requests outright, relying upon the plaintiffs' argument that the court may adopt another state’s statutes for such awards in the future. The court is poised to resolve the issue, depending on the “totality of circumstances”.
Plaintiff Petitions Federal Panel to Establish an Ozempic Multidistrict Litigation
The law firm representing Bjorklund has stated that it is actively investigating thousands of claims against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company. Days before Judge Cain’s ruling, Bjorklund’s counsel filed a petition with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) for pretrial case consolidation.
The federal panel determines whether or not to consolidate similar cases for pretrial proceedings in the form of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). In contrast to class action lawsuits, MDLs are an exclusively federal procedure that ensures the efficient and effective resolution of mass tort claims throughout the discovery process and pretrial settlement negotiations.
The recent affirmation of Bjorklund’s pleading may provide a crucial impetus for the establishment of an Ozempic MDL to address potentially thousands of claims. Currently, the JPML has not scheduled a hearing to assess the merits of the plaintiff’s request.
Can Ozempic and Mounjaro Cause Stomach Paralysis?
Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) are members of a popular class of antidiabetic and weight loss medications known as glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). The drugs were originally designed to assist Type II diabetics with glycemic control by prompting the pancreas to produce insulin.
However, they have a pronounced impact on the gastrointestinal system, slowing the rate at which the stomach empties and increasing a user’s sense of satiety (fullness) at mealtime. On account of their weight loss potential, GLP-1 RAs have been either repurposed or rebranded for chronic weight management in those suffering from obesity or overweight.
While prominent GLP-1 RA manufacturers were producing novel medications to satisfy market demand, a growing body of clinical literature connected the use of their drugs with severe and undisclosed side effects, including:
- Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis)
- Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
- Cholelithiasis (gallstones)
Common Damages in Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits
Beginning in July 2023, CNN published a series of exposés on the personal experiences of several Ozempic and Wegovy users who had developed intense gastrointestinal complications. Many described hospitalizations, hiatuses from work, and considerable disruptions in their daily lives.
Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company’s failure to warn users of these risks represents a gross betrayal of public trust and illustrates a preference for profits over user safety. Fortunately, filing an Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuit or Mounjaro stomach paralysis lawsuit enables plaintiffs to seek compensation for their losses in the form of economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical costs – past, present, and future
- Lost income and wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional distress
Learn more about the Ozempic Gallstone Lawsuit
Contact an Experienced Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawyer Today
LawsuitLegalNews.com is closely watching the progress of several Ozempic product liabiltiy lawsuits and anticipates an exponential increase in court filings in the aftermath of Judge Cain’s ruling. If you took any of Novo Nordisk or Eli Lilly and Co.’s GLP-1 RAs and subsequently developed severe medical complications consider contacting an experienced Ozempic lawyer as soon as possible.
In a free consultation, our qualified Ozempic stomach paralysis lawyers can explain your rights, determine the eligibility of your claim, and calculate the compensation to which you may be entitled. With over 120 combined years of personal injury law experience, we are intimately familiar with crafting compelling defective drug claims and have a proven record of success.
Moreover, we maintain a steadfast commitment to defending the rights of consumers against the irresponsible and negligent business practices of multinational pharmaceutical companies.
For more information and advice, contact us today.