Tepezza lawyers filed a motion on June 12, 2023, asking U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois who is overseeing the Tepezza multidistrict litigation (MDL) to appoint several lawyers to leadership roles within said MDL. The appointment of these leadership roles and many other topics will be discussed in the upcoming initial status conference to be held on June 28, 2023.
This development comes soon after the establishment of the Tepezza MDL itself on June 2, 2023, by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) which itself is a significant milestone in the ongoing product liability litigation involving the defective drug Tepezza.
If you or a loved one have used Tepezza in an effort to treat thyroid eye disease (TED) and suffered negative symptoms such as hearing loss or tinnitus then consider contacting a Tepezza lawyer about a possible claim as soon as possible.
Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) and Treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an autoimmune disease that causes the muscle and fatty tissue located behind the eye to become inflamed. This inflammation typically causes the eyes to bulge and eyelids and/or eyes to become swollen. These symptoms can be uncomfortable both in the physical sense and socially as well.
TED often accompanies Graves’ disease although it can also occur due to other issues with the thyroid gland. Tepezza is a prescription drug created by Horizon Therapeutics and introduced in 2020 intended to treat the symptoms of TED. Tepezza is administered via an intravenous infusion over the course of 90 minutes per treatment given every three weeks up to eight infusions.
Tepezza (also known as teprotumumab) is only one of many possible treatments available for those suffering from TED and was initially intended only as a niche treatment with a limited market. However, Tepezza sales doubled after its second year on the market to $1.66 billion. Tepezza generated a significant profit but also ended up causing many users to report harmful side effects they felt they were not adequately warned of.
Tepezza Negative Side Effects
Even though Tepezza is reported to have success in treating TED symptoms, it comes at the cost of potentially suffering many severe side effects such as hearing loss, tinnitus, and other hearing-related issues. Negative side effects that come as a risk of using prescription drugs is nothing new but Tepezza users claim that the marketing of Tepezza was aggressive and failed to adequately inform them of the risk of suffering these negative side effects.
In 2021, the Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a small study of Tepezza users that showed 65% of the participants suffered negative effects from the drug that included the following:
Autophony - the sensation that your own voice is loud in your ears,
Tinnitus - persistent ringing or whining in the ears,
Partial and in some cases, total hearing loss
These findings indicated a much higher percentage of negatively affected Tepezza users than in clinical trials provided by Horizon Therapeutics. The Tepezza manufacturer only reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that 10% of users suffering hearing-related issues after using Tepezza.
The Tepezza Lawsuits Against Horizon Therapeutics
Hearing-related problems are seriously debilitating and can drastically affect one’s quality of life. Many Tepezza users that suffered hearing loss and other negative side effects would experience problems with their careers and in their personal lives caused by these issues.
Consumers have a right to be fully notified of the risks associated with drugs so that they can make informed decisions.
Tepezza users claim that Horizon Therapeutic’s aggressive marketing of Tepezza without the full disclosure of these risks deprived them of the ability to make informed decisions and therefore led them to suffer unanticipated harm they consider the manufacturer responsible for.
This is the basis for the Tepezza lawsuits filed against the drug manufacturer that are seeking compensation for damages related to Tepezza-caused hearing loss.
The Tepezza Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
The large number of Tepezza lawsuits has prompted the JPML to consolidate the many cases across various districts into a single multidistrict litigation. The MDL was formed on June 2, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois.
The MDL will not only bring together all of the different Tepezza lawsuits from different districts into one consolidated litigation but will also allow for the coordination of these many lawsuits in the pretrial phase so that proceedings and discovery can be undertaken more efficiently. The MDL is also expected to facilitate bellwether trials so that exemplary lawsuits can be tried in court to determine how juries will respond.
What Will the Tepezza MDL Leadership Roles Do?
The leadership roles that will be created for the Tepezza will consist of attorneys serving as co-lead counsel, one liaison counsel, and an eight-person executive committee. The Tepezza lawyers appointed to these leadership positions in the Tepezza MDL will be responsible for working together with the many lawyers representing plaintiffs injured by Tepezza with coordination of the litigation.
Tepezza MDL leadership will need to work on behalf of the best interests of all of these cases by making sure discovery, settlement negotiation, bellwether trials, and the structure of the litigation, in general, are coordinated efficiently and effectively.
While the appointed leadership of the Tepezza MDL will be responsible for making decisions that impact the course of the litigation, individual plaintiffs will still have their own Tepezza lawyers representing them and will need to handle the specific details of their own cases such as deadlines, settlement negotiations, and proving the connection between their injuries and Tepezza use.
The Tepezza MDL Initial Status Conference
Judge Durkin issued a case management order on June 16, 2023, that scheduled the first status conference of the Tepezza MDL. The conference is set to take place on June 28th, 2023, and will give the presiding judge and the various parties involved in the MDL the opportunity to discuss the many protocols and procedures involved in the litigation.
The primary topics expected to be discussed in the status conference will include whether consolidated complaints, involving more than one plaintiff who suffered Tepezza hearing damage, will be allowed, potential orders to preserve evidence, and most notably, the appointment of Tepezza lawyers within leadership positions of the MDL. Judge Durkin noted that the court does not intend to make final decisions regarding the appointment of Tepezza lawyers to these leadership positions although the decisions are expected to come shortly afterward.
Contact Tepezza Lawyers for Help With Your Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have suffered severe side effects such as hearing loss after using Tepezza then it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Tepezza lawyer as soon as possible. Getting in contact with a legal professional soon can mean all the difference when it comes to attaining fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.