Last week, U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti, presiding over all Elmiron lawsuits, was presented with a proposal by a group of attorneys to appoint a group of 25 plaintiffs’ leadership positions to serve in various leadership positions.
According to the motion submitted for the appointment of a plaintiff leadership committee on January 13, a 25-member committee is proposed, which would include three co-lead counsel and one liaison counsel, seven Executive Committee members, and 14 Steering Committee members.
The attorneys said that the proposed panel includes a diverse group in terms of gender, race, and experience, and out of the 25 proposed members, 18 are women. The number of women leadership positions are more as the plaintiffs in the MDL are expected to be women, as Elmiron disproportionately affects women.
Elmiron, also known by its generic name pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), is a medication prescribed to treat interstitial cystitis (IC). Several cases of pigmentary maculopathy, which involves changes to the retina, causing vision loss and impairment, have been reported among its users, mostly by individuals who have been using it for three years or longer.
A case management order was issued by Judge Martinotti a couple of days later, calling for any comments or objections over the proposal. The judge also suggested that the court will quickly establish the structure to advance the discovery and pretrial proceedings in the litigation.
The counsels appointed will perform several tasks, which consist of taking depositions of common witnesses, arguing motions, reviewing discovery documents, and other actions.
Currently, more than 100 product liability lawsuits are pending in the U.S. against the manufacturer for Elmiron, Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., each claiming that its users suffered severe retina damage and permanent vision problems, including difficulty adapting to the dark light, spots, or floaters in the vision and complete blindness.