The manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy recently filed a motion to dismiss an active product liability lawsuit in Louisiana filed by Jaclyn Bjorklund who developed severe stomach paralysis after using their product. Filed in August 2023, the Ozempic lawsuit targets Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company for their failure to warn users of the risks inherent in the use of popular antidiabetic and weight management medications known as GLP-1 RAs.
The court filing is the strongest corporate response yet from Novo Nordisk, which has consistently maintained its innocence and transparency in the face of alarming allegations. It is now incumbent on the state court in which the plaintiff filed suit to determine the credibility of the motion and the meritoriousness of the plaintiff’s complaint.
Ozempic Producer Rejects “Shotgun Pleading” Under Louisiana State Law
Jaclyn Bjorklund is a 44-year-old Louisiana resident who alleges that she developed severe stomach paralysis after taking Ozempic and Mounjaro, consecutively, for one year. She subsequently filed an Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuit against the manufacturers of the two antidiabetic medications, citing a “failure to warn” and a breach of express warranty.
Eli Lilly and Company, the producer of the dual agonist Mounjaro, filed a motion to dismiss in late October 2023. However, Novo Nordisk’s early November filing more extensively critiques the legal basis of Bjorklund’s claims and rejects her “shotgun pleading”.
Overall, the Ozempic manufacturer argues that Bjorklund’s first amended complaint (FAC) fails to satisfy the stringent legal standards enshrined in the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA).
The Learned Intermediary Doctrine and the Ozempic Lawsuit
Under the LPLA, warnings for prescription medications must be communicated to “learned intermediaries” – in this case, prescribing physicians. The plaintiff’s complaint asserts that Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. failed to warn her healthcare providers of the dangers inherent in Ozempic and Mounjaro's use, which contributed to or caused her injury.
On the contrary, Novo Nordisk’s motion to dismiss responds to these allegations by stating that Ozempic’s warning label fully addresses gastrointestinal complications. It also refers to the LPLA’s learned intermediary doctrine exception for information that is reasonably “within the knowledge or obvious to the average learned intermediate”. Thus, the company coöpts the abundance of alarming clinical research in the FAC to relieve itself of liability.
Another important component of the LPLA’s “failure to warn” standard is determining whether the warnings would have influenced a prescribing physician’s decision to recommend a drug. Novo Nordisk asserts that the plaintiff fell short in satisfying the standard by failing to include the identities of her doctors and the institutions at which they worked or the purposes for which they prescribed Ozempic and Mounjaro.
Did Novo Nordisk Breach its Express Warranty?
The second allegation Novo Nordisk rejects pertains to its supposed breach of express warranty, which primarily refers to the company’s inaccurate advertising. The FAC argues that the company assured users and physicians alike that Ozempic was “safe” and “effective”.
Thereafter, the express and inaccurate guarantee led the plaintiff and her physician(s) to rely upon the medication, which resulted in severe injuries, including stomach paralysis and a temporary hospitalization.
Once again, Novo Nordisk undermines the legal credibility of the argument and states that the comments referring to Ozempic were permissible “puffery, general praise, or general opinion”, and did not constitute express warranties under the LPLA.
What Are GLP-1 RAs?
Ozempic and Mounjaro belong to a drug class known as glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). The medications have enjoyed tremendous success over the course of the past decade and include such staple antidabetics and weight management drugs as:
GLP-1 RAs mimic the naturally occurring GLP-1 produced in the lower intestine, and markedly impact the functioning of the gastrointestinal system and the production of insulin. Only recently have research studies, litigation, user reports, and post-marketing review revealed the serious and undisclosed adverse health effects of long-term use, including:
Ozempic Use Linked to Numerous Gastrointestinal Complications
Over the course of the past three years, a growing body of peer-reviewed research has connected GLP-1 RA use to biliary diseases and gastrointestinal conditions, none of which is identified in the side effects disclosures for prominent glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist medications.
For example, an October 2023 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered a probable link between medicinally induced stomach paralysis and semaglutide use. The JAMA study will prove critical for future Ozempic lawsuits because it identifies the risk of stomach paralysis in long-term users who are not predisposed to developing the condition.
Additionally, a revealing 2021 case study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports concluded that medicinally-induced gastroparesis may recede with discontinuation of the GLP-1 RA. Altogether, the studies jeopardize the general legal arguments Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company intend to advance, which are largely predicated on the transparency of their side effects disclosures.
FDA Issues Update to Ozempic Warning Label
In September 2023, the Food and Drug Administration required that Novo Nordisk update the safety label for Ozempic after user reports and clinical research identified a probable link between semaglutide use and ileus. The serious gastrointestinal disorder has the potential to result in surgery and may prove lethal in more extreme cases.
Although the Louisiana Ozempic lawsuit does not address ileus, the FDA’s decision underscored the extent to which the public is unaware of the inherent dangers the semaglutide drug poses – and Novo Nordisk’s reticence to prioritize user safety. In the future, Ozempic plaintiffs may begin filing product liability lawsuits against Novo Nordisk for its failure to inform them of the risks they ran of developing ileus prior to the FDA’s mandatory update.
Who Is Eligible to File an Ozempic Lawsuit?
Novo Nordisk’s efforts to dismiss the active Ozempic product liability lawsuit illustrate the company’s fear that the advancement of the case could embolden other users to file suit. Although the Louisiana state court has yet to rule on the recent motion to dismiss, the outcome will likely influence the nature and volume of prospective litigation.
Nevertheless, the court filing only contends with the specific parameters of the Louisiana Products Liability Act and the quality of the plaintiff’s complaint. Other users across the country may still be eligible to file an Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuit, regardless of the court’s ruling if they:
- Received an Ozempic prescription
- Developed an undisclosed gastrointestinal or biliary disorder
Each state maintains different statutes of limitation for product liability lawsuits for prescription medications, which establish a legal timeframe in which a claim is eligible in a court of law. For more information about the eligibility of your claim, speak with a qualified Ozempic lawyer today.
Common Damages in Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits
Ozempic users who suffer from stomach paralysis, cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), and biliary disorders have reported a variety of debilitating symptoms, some of which impinge on their ability to make a living or spend time with loved ones. Fortunately, the losses and injuries Ozempic users have sustained may be compensable in a court of law.
By speaking with an experienced Ozempic stomach paralysis lawyer, users of the popular antidiabetic can determine the precise compensation to which they may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses – past, present, and future
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional distress
Contact an Experienced Ozempic Lawyer for Assistance with Your Product Liability Claim
After years of post-marketing review, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company were doubtlessly aware of the severe gastrointestinal complications their drugs could cause. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical giants refrained from updating the safety labels for their GLP-1 RA medications and greatly endangered the public in the process.
As long-term users of the popular antidiabetic and weight management medications learn of their legal options, we want to help. In a free consultation, our qualified Ozempic lawyers can assess the eligibility of your claim and calculate the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Deciding to undertake a high-profile Ozempic product liability lawsuit may seem daunting, but a refusal to take action may further jeopardize your future by depriving you of the chance to get the compensation you deserve. With round-the-clock service and a proven track record of client success, our Ozempic lawyers will work tirelessly to protect your rights as you safeguard your health.
For more information, consider contacting us today.