class action

Eli Lilly Seeks to Avoid Liability Using Motion to Dismiss in Growing Cymbalta Class Action Lawsuit

In our highly-publicized class action lawsuit involving the potent antidepressant drug Cymbalta, drug maker Eli Lilly sought to avoid conflict earlier by submitting its motion to dismiss in January, 2013. The motion, which directly attacks the validity of plaintiffs’ claims, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California before Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who is tasked with handling the hotly-contested assertions surrounding unpublished and undisclosed side effects upon the discontinuation of the drug.

Through its counsel, Michael X. Imbroscio of Washington D.C.-based Covington & Burling LLP, Eli Lilly submitted an expansive set of exhibits in support of its Memorandum of Points and Authorities attacking the plaintiffs’ claims each did not know that discontinuing Cymbalta could cause adverse side effects. More specifically, counsel submitted three distinct exhibits: (i) a copy of the November 2007 Cymbalta physician package insert; (ii) a copy of the March 2011 Cymbalta physician package insert, and; (iii) an excerpt from a 2005 article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, entitled Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder.

In sum, Eli Lilly seeks to argue that its patients knew or should have known of the dangers of discontinuation of the drug – and the drug company should not have to further defend any claims stating otherwise.

The November 2007 physician insert, which spans approximately 31 pages, contains purportedly all the information a doctor would need to know in order to properly prescribe Cymbalta to a patient presenting with anxiety disorder or depression. Section 5.6 of the insert addresses the discontinuation of Cymbalta, and describes the possible side effects as “dizziness, nausea, headache, fatigue, paresthesia, vomiting, irritability, nightmares, insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, hyperhidrosis and vertigo.”

The insert further explained that there have been “spontaneous reports” of adverse events occurring upon the abrupt discontinuation of the drug, particularly “dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures.”

Continuing with Exhibit 2, Eli Lilly presented its updated physician insert, which is presumably provided to all healthcare providers planning to prescribe the drug to patients. With regard to discontinuation of the drug, Exhibit 2 lists symptoms very similar to those listed in 2007, however it omits vertigo and nightmares. Its “less common” spontaneous side effects remained unchanged.

Lastly, through its Exhibit 3, Eli Lilly’s counsel seeks to advance the argument that physicians and patients should have been aware of the discontinuation symptoms – which have been described as “brain zaps” by patients having endured withdrawal – due to the fact a lengthy article was published in a psychiatric medical journal in 2005. The study focuses on the widespread reports of dizziness upon discontinuation, and further delves into other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and insomnia.

The study concluded by stating that the discontinuation symptoms for “most” patients were “mild to moderate,” and “reassurance by a clinician may be all that is required.”

The case is Jennifer L. Saavedra v. Eli Lilly & Co., case number 2:12-cv-09366, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Eli Lilly and Company Regarding Cymbalta

Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Keller Rohrback P.L.C., Pogust Braslow Millrood LLC and Deskin Law Firm, a PLC filed a class action lawsuit today against Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”) (NYSE:LLY). Lilly, an Indiana based pharmaceutical company, is the maker of Cymbalta. The class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, on behalf of all consumers who purchased Cymbalta at any time since the product’s launch in August 2004 to the present.

Cymbalta is prescribed to individuals that have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal pain. Plaintiff alleges that Lilly misrepresented the risks associated with taking Cymbalta and misled consumers about the frequency, severity, and duration of “Cymbalta withdrawal.” Withdrawal symptoms include, among others, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe—the latter consisting of debilitating and painful symptoms that last several months.

If you used Cymbalta or you would like more information regarding the Cymbalta class action, please contact one of the following attorneys: Michael Woerner or Mark Samson, Keller Rohrback at 800-776-6044.

If you used Cymbalta, suffered serious side effects, and want more information about pursuing an individual personal injury claim, please contact Pogust Braslow Millrood LLC and Deskin Law Firm, a PLC via the contact form on this website or at 800-897-8930.

Contact Cymbalta Attorneys

We are no longer accepting new Cymbalta withdrawal cases.

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