We’re pleased to share the news that “Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has appointed Robins Kaplan LLP® attorney Holly Dolejsi as co-lead counsel in multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving the diabetes drug Farxiga.
Dolejsi will also serve as one of seven attorneys on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the litigation, which involves claims that users of Farxiga suffered diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition characterized by high levels of acid in the blood that can lead to coma or death if left untreated.
In March 2017, Dolejsi argued for the formation of a Farxiga MDL before a panel of seven federal judges. The cases were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation shortly thereafter, in April 2017.
Earlier this year, Dolejsi was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in a similar MDL against Invokana, another drug used to treat diabetes that has also been linked to diabetic ketoacidosis. She has also been heavily involved in some of the most notable cases handled by Robins Kaplan’s Mass Tort Group, including: Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II modular hip litigation; federal litigation involving Benicar, a popular prescription blood pressure medication that may cause severe intestinal problems; and wrongful death cases involving GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®. In recognition of her work, she was recently named a 2017 “Up & Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer.
The case is In re Farxiga (Dapagliflozin) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2776. It is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York before the Hon. Lorna G. Schofield.
What is Farxiga?
Farxiga is part of a class of diabetes drugs known as sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Plaintiffs allege that Farxiga co-promoters Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP failed to adequately test the drug and warn doctors and patients of risks. To date, 28 cases are pending in the MDL, with more expected as the two-year anniversary of the change to the drug’s label to warn of ketoacidosis is in December of this year.”
Earlier this month, Judge Schofield ordered a “Science Day” to be held at the Court. This is a valuable tool to educate the Court on the scientific issues involved in the case. The scientific issues in a pharmaceutical case can be quite complicated. By giving the Court additional information about the drugs at issue, how they work, and why the alleged injuries occur, the Judge has a better basis to make determinations about relevance, expert opinions, and other issues fundamental to the case.
When asked for an update on the case, Ms. Dolejsi said, “The Farxiga MDL continues to progress, with additional cases being filed as the two-year anniversary of the label change warning of ketoacidosis approaches. In June, a Letter to the Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine was published, which concluded that ‘SGLT2 inhibitors were associated with approximately twice the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis as were DPP4 inhibitors.’ No doubt, additional cases will be filed.”
About Robins Kaplan LLP®
Robins Kaplan is among the nation’s premier trial law firms, with more than 220 lawyers located in Bismarck, N.D.; Boston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Naples, Fla; New York; Silicon Valley; and Sioux Falls, S.D. The firm litigates, mediates, and arbitrates high-stakes, complex disputes, repeatedly earning national recognition. Firm clients include—as both plaintiffs and defendants—numerous Fortune 500 corporations, emerging-markets companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals.
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