Tepezza is a drug used to treat Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the eyes. Following reports that Tepezza has caused long-term or permanent hearing loss, users have filed product liability lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Horizon Therapeutics. Plaintiffs claim that Horizon Therapeutics failed to accurately inform consumers of the risk of hearing loss associated with using their product, especially in light of the fact that it may take multiple injections of Tepezza to alleviate Thyroid Eye Disease symptoms.
The determination has been made by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) that these claims would be most effectively processed as a multidistrict litigation. Tepezza users who have experienced prolonged hearing loss may consider pursuing a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, reduced earning capacity, and loss of quality of life. For a better understanding of how the personal injury claims process works, you should schedule a free consultation with a product liability attorney to discuss the details of your Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit.
Tepezza Lawsuits to be Heard as a Multidistrict Litigation
As is common in mass tort issues where the same defective product has similarly injured a significant number of plaintiffs, the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits have been grouped together to be considered as a multidistrict litigation. This decision was made by a panel of federal judges known as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation after both sides presented oral arguments to support their positions.
Plaintiffs had requested that their claims be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The JPML ultimately decided that it was appropriate to consolidate the Tepezza hearing loss claims, but chose to transfer them to the jurisdiction of U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois. The official transfer order from the JPML was issued in the first week of June 2023.
Horizon Therapeutics’ attorneys protested that there were an insufficient number of claims filed to justify a multidistrict litigation. As of the beginning of June, there have been 18 Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits filed, with 19 other claims filed that may become involved in the multidistrict litigation. The JPML anticipated that the volume of Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits would grow significantly, so consolidating the claims would benefit the coordination of pretrial proceedings and standardize settlement outcomes.
Tepezza Users Complain of Hearing Loss Post-Treatment
Tepezza is new to the market, having only been introduced in 2020 after benefitting from the FDA’s Orphan Drug Policy. The drug was advertised to manage Thyroid Eye Disease where the eyes and surrounding tissue swell due to inflammation. TED is most commonly associated with thyroid issues and Graves’ Disease. When TED causes the eye to bulge, it can negatively affect a person’s vision and cause discomfort. Tepezza was seen as a preferred treatment option to existing treatments, which include surgery and steroids with adverse side effects.
The makers of Tepezza, Horizon Therapeutics, did include a warning that a potential side effect of using tepezza was hearing loss. However, the company characterized hearing loss as a temporary issue that existed only during the course of treatment. For many Tepezza users, this has not been the case. Researchers from Stanford University investigated the rates of hearing loss among Tepezza users and found evidence that supports reports of permanent hearing loss or persistent tinnitus even after treatment had been completed.
Tepezza interferes with the development of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors (IGF-IRs). The function of an IGF-1R is to protect the inner ear hair cells from being harmed by noise, which can lead to hearing loss. Tepezza users may be at an even greater risk for hearing loss than previously thought, as a new study shows that a second injection of Tepezza may be necessary to help resolve their Thyroid Eye Disease.
Recovering Compensation in a Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuit
After hearing loss, you may never experience music the same way, be able to hear your loved ones’ voices, or navigate your everyday life like you used to. For some, losing their hearing is also a career-ending injury. In the case of tinnitus, it can impair your ability to concentrate and hear clearly, which in turn may impact your ability to hold a conversation, perform your job, and maintain your previous quality of life. Plaintiffs in the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits must demonstrate that their losses are related to the hearing loss they experienced after using Tepezza to recover compensation.
While the impact of hearing loss will vary by the plaintiff, their damages will typically fall into one of two major categories. The first type is economic damages, which are losses with a monetary impact. They can be verified through documentation like receipts or pay stubs. The second major form of compensatory damages are known as non-economic damages, which describe emotional losses. For example, while losing the ability to hear your spouse telling you they love you does not have a defined price tag, it certainly has value. Non-economic damages are intended to acknowledge these types of losses.
Examples of Damages in a Tepezza Lawsuit:
- Medical expenses
- Lab tests
- Medical imaging
- Hearing aids
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed promotions
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Contact an Experienced Tepezza Lawyer
Tepezza users who have experienced tinnitus or hearing loss after finishing their treatment may be entitled to pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. It is in your best interest to hire a product liability attorney to assess the facts of your case, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate to maximize your compensation in a Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit.
Having a product liability lawyer on your side can offer significant benefits, including lending legitimacy to your claim. A product liability attorney will have the necessary resources and legal expertise to maximize your compensation for your damages.