National Law Firm Parker Waichman LLP Reports on Tasigna Lawsuit Settlements
Tasigna, whose generic name is nilotinib, is the subject of numerous lawsuits filed by plaintiffs across the United States. Many people who took Tasigna to help them battle a specific form of leukemia suffered adverse side effects caused atherosclerosis. Novartis failed to warn consumers that this was a possibility and, in essence, made people who were struggling with a life-threatening disease sicker or die prematurely due to heart problems associated with taking Tasigna.
Novartis, the makers of Tasigna, should be held responsible for the pain, suffering, and loss cancer patients and their families endured. Parker Waichman LLP’s Tasigna settlement lawyers possess significant experience pursuing large drug manufacturers who fail to warn their consumers about the potential dangers lurking from taking their medications. You can rely on Parker Waichman’s Tasigna settlement attorneys to investigate your claim thoroughly and present your case most compellingly and effectively in an effort to persuade Novartis to settle your claim without going to trial.
The large and powerful international pharmaceutical company Novartis manufactures Tasigna. Novartis designed and marketed Tasigna as a therapy for adults suffering from Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph C+) in chronic phase. Tasigna is also indicated as an alternative to the cancer-fighting drug imatinib for adults who have Ph C+ in the accelerated phase or grew intolerant to imatinib. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tasigna for prescription use in 2007.
Tasigna is a kinase inhibitor. Kinase is an enzyme in our blood that adds phosphates to molecules such as sugars or other proteins. Phosphates can change how a cell behaves. Cancer research proved that kinase enzymes, in addition to performing many beneficial functions at the cellular level, can transform cells from normal, healthy cells, into cancerous cells. Consequently, Tasigna intervenes in the process at the cellular level by blocking kinase from combining with phosphates, thereby slowing the advance of Ph C+ cancers.
In April of 2013, the Canadian Health Administration, Health Canada, issued a warning in conjunction with Novartis that Tasigna can cause atherosclerosis. Health Canada noted that a recent study demonstrated that patients taking Tasigna were at risk for developing atherosclerosis-related complications such as:
- peripheral occlusive arterial disease
- femoral artery stenosis
- carotid artery stenosis and
- cerebrovascular accidents
Health Canada determined that their patients should learn about the potential for developing atherosclerosis, which is irreversible. Health Canada researched Novartis’ safety databases and found that 277 cases of atherosclerosis appeared. Fourteen out of the 277 instances were Canadian citizens. At this time, no published figure exists indicating the citizenship of the remaining 263 individuals. However, Health Canada found that fourteen cases were enough to warn Canada about the problem. In stark contrast, the FDA did not issue a warning.
One of the first lawsuits filed against Novartis for the damage caused atherosclerosis in the U.S. remains pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. In Lauris et al. v. Novartis, the plaintiffs are the wife and children of a man who suffered from Ph C+ but died from heart disease associated with atherosclerosis after taking Tasigna for over one year. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit contend that Novartis failed to warn patients and doctors about the possibility that someone taking Tasigna might develop atherosclerosis. The Tasigna lawsuit seeks damages for the wrongful death of a husband and father of two children as well as pain and suffering associated with atherosclerosis.
Lauris et al. v. Novartis has not been resolved up to this point. The court scheduled the case for a January 2018 trial date but continued the case because additional pre-trial issues prevent the trial from going forward. Notably, the plaintiffs have asked the Court – a request which the Court granted – to summons records from Canada to the court in California for trial. The plaintiffs contend that these documents could prove Novartis knew about the problems and concealed them from patients and doctors alike. The information contained in those documents might be so damaging that Novartis will have no choice but to settle the claim.
Settlement of a claim can occur at any time. In the typical lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorneys will gather as much information about the allegations as possible. Attorneys need medical records, life histories of the plaintiffs, work histories, financial histories, and other background information so counsel can articulate what happened and the effect the event had on people’s lives. Equally as important as stating what and how is answering why. Counsel must locate and speak with expert witnesses who can form an opinion as to why Tasigna causes atherosclerosis in general, and how it individually led to the complications experienced by the plaintiff. Having this information will form the legal basis for the plaintiff’s claim.
Counsel may file a formal demand for settlement before filing a lawsuit. However, that might not always happen if the statute of limitations is close to running out. Filing of the lawsuit is the start of a potentially lengthy process. The parties will exchange documents and ask questions of each other through the use of interrogatories and depositions. Once discovery is complete, both sides usually file a request with the judge to enter a judgment on their respective cases. This procedure is named a Motion for Summary Judgment. A judge will allow the motion if, after all of the discovery is complete, there remains no definite issue of material fact in dispute. The parties then schedule the case for trial if they survive the summary judgment phase.
The parties may negotiate with each about settling the case short of trial. The judge might engage in settlement negotiations as a mediator. The judge could order the parties to attend mediation to resolve the case. On many occasions, the parties do not settle the case until the eve of trial. It is at that point both sides have evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of their complaints and defenses and can come to a resolution without going to trial.
To date, there are no reports publically available about Tasigna settlements. But, the resolution of Lauris et al. v. Novartis might signal a trend toward an agreement in all Tasigna lawsuits if the plaintiffs prevail.
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Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or use our contact form. Our Tasigna lawyers will work tirelessly to obtain justice for you and your family to settle your Tasigna lawsuit.
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