Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) is a popular prescription medication that has been the subject of much litigation over the past few years. So much, in fact, that federal courts have consolidated thousands of lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL)

Although plaintiffs have filed thousands of lawsuits alleging the harmful effects of Elmiron, legal analysts expect almost all of these lawsuits to eventually settle out of court.  

What Is Elmiron Used For?

Elmiron is used to treat bladder pain syndrome, a condition of the bladder that causes pain in the pelvic area along with a frequent, urgent need to urinate. Elmiron is used in patients with moderate to severe pain. 

Ironically, given the controversy surrounding its use, there is little clinical evidence of Elmiron’s effectiveness in treating bladder pain.

Elmiron’s Alleged Harmful Side Effects

Elmiron lawsuit plaintiffs have alleged that Elmiron causes users to suffer from blurry vision,  maculopathy, retinopathy, difficulty adapting to dim lighting, reading problems, distorted vision, and other eye problems. In some cases, legal blindness has been the result.

Initial Litigation

Elmiron users initially filed thousands of lawsuits in courts all over the United States.

What Is Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?

Elmiron lawsuits are now the subject of MDL. The federal MDL statute was designed in part to reduce congestion and prevent duplicate evidence in the federal courts. It is a legal procedure that is distinct from its more famous cousin, class action lawsuits. 

In MDL, a large number of individual cases with similar fractal issues are grouped together in a single federal court to resolve certain pretrial issues. The hope is that these proceedings might pave the way for the settlement of most of the pending cases (a “global settlement”).

MDL participants share information during discovery and other pretrial procedures. If this does not lead to the settlement of each case (or dismissal by the judges if a case lacks merit), some of the cases will go to “bellwether trials” in the court into which they were consolidated.  

Although the results of the trial of one case are not legally binding on the other cases, they can be very persuasive, as they give the parties a clue about what might happen to their own case in court. Because of this, many participants settle their cases at this point. This is known as a global settlement. 

Elmiron MDL Litigation

In December 2020, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated a multitude of Elmiron lawsuits into a single MDL action in the New Jersey federal court. As of October 2023, over 1,900 Elmiron lawsuits were pending in the federal MDL. 

So far, there haven’t been any Elmiron lawsuit settlements. Nevertheless, legal counsel still anticipates a global Elmiron settlement in late 2023 or early 2024. It may not be too late to join the proceedings; contact a lawyer as soon as you can to determine your options.

Potential Damages in an Elmiron Lawsuit

As a plaintiff involved in Elmiron litigation, you might qualify for up to three different types of damageseconomic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the types of damages you normally think of when you consider personal injury claims, such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses to treat your injuries;
  • Past and future lost earnings; and
  • Other economic losses experienced because of your injuries, such as child care expenses while you were in recovery.

Economic damages are typically tangible and easy to count.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible and difficult to count, but they are very real. Common non-economic damages claims include:

  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Diminished quality of life; and
  • Loss of consortium (your spouse files this claim for damage to the marital relationship caused by your injury).

Non-economic damages often add up to well over 50% of the total value of a personal injury claim.

Punitive Damages

You can win punitive damages only if you also win economic damages or non-economic damages. The purpose of assessing punitive damages is to punish the defendant for particularly offensive conduct. Judges are generally reluctant to award punitive damages.

Contact a Lawyer if You Believe You Might Have a Mass Tort Claim

If you have suffered an injury shared by many other people, particularly as a result of using a defective consumer product, you may qualify to participate in MDLor class action litigation. 

Indeed, such litigation may have already begun on your claim without your knowledge. Considering the many advantages of using MDL or class action to resolve your claim, your best bet is to move quickly to contact a personal injury lawyer with similar experience.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007