Abilify Legal History

In this page, we will take a brief look at the history of the Abilify litigation, from the first lawsuit filed to the current status of the legal proceedings. A large litigation has, in fact, stemmed from the alleged dangerous side effects of this popular medication, causing many people to suffer from the insidious consequences of unnatural and uncontrollable impulses.

When Was The First Abilify Lawsuit Filed?

Denise and Brad Miley filed the first Abilify action on January 12, 2016, in Minnesota Federal Court. The Mileys alleged that the woman began compulsively gambling within weeks of starting the medication in September 2014. According to their complaint, Denise had no prior history of betting, but while taking the drug she lost over $75,000 in five months and caused her family extreme financial and emotional distress in the process.

The victims alleged that the manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., failed to warn about the risk of Aripiprazole increasing uncontrollable behaviors, even though the defendant warned European and Canadian consumers about the increased risk.

When Did The Abilify Trial Began?

In June of 2016, the Mileys petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all the pending actions. On October 3rd, 2016, the JPML granted the plaintiffs’ petition to centralize the litigation the litigation in Pensacola of Florida.

The consolidated mass tort (MDL No. 2734) was assigned to Chief District Judge Casey M. Rodgers who sits in Pensacola, Florida. Honorable Judge Rodgers will preside over all pre-trial proceedings common to all claimants in a process known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), to expedite the judicial procedures for anyone who files an Abilify lawsuit.

During the pre-trial proceedings, attorneys will litigate “questions of law” that are common to all claimants, such as when did Bristol-Myers Squibb learn that their product can increase compulsive behavior. Victims’ attorneys will also use the MDL to gain access to thousands of defendants’ clinical trial, scientific and marketing documents. The attorneys will review these documents in a process known as “discovery” and then question the manufacturers’ executives, scientists and sales managers about their knowledge regarding the drug’s side effects. They will also investigate on the companies’ decision not to warn consumers about increased gambling.

Who Is Handling the Plaintiffs’ Cases?

Cases have been filed in both federal and state courts throughout the United States. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a Japanese company, has argued that it is not subject to the personal jurisdiction of American courts because it is a foreign corporation. One magistrate in the Southern District of Indiana, Judge Dinsmore, disagreed with the defendant’s argument and recommended that the company should be subject to lawsuits in U.S.courts. Other courts have followed Judge Dinsmore’s lead and ordered jurisdictional discovery to proceed against Otsuka.

The Japanese drugmaker also indicated that the company plans to file a motion to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction grounds. The manufacturer’s basic argument is that it should not be forced to litigate claims in American courts because most of its operations are based in Japan.

You Have Questions? We Have The Answers

What Is The Deadline To File My Abilify Lawsuit?

Statute of Limitations laws prevents individuals from filing legal claims if too much time has passed since they were injured. These time limits are typically 2-4 years after a person either experienced an injury or were warned that a product may cause an injury. They represent a potential deadline after which the case is rejected by a court.

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement warning that Abilify may cause uncontrollable urges to gamble, shop, eat and have sex. Although many patients are unlikely to have heard about this warning, Bristol-Myers Squibb may argue that the public received notice that their drug may increase their risk of betting unordinate amounts of money. If successful, this would mean that injured individuals would have less than one year to file their cases in some states.

How Many Abilify Lawsuits Have Been Filed so far?

As of September 2017, 365 cases have been transferred to the Florida District Court. Several other cases have been filed in the New Jersey state court. Judge Rodgers held an Initial Case Management Conference on November 7, 2016. During that conference, the Judge presided over preliminary discussions on how the litigation will be conducted. The parties notified the court that they are already developing a master complaint and short-form one. A master complaint is a single document that outlines all the factual and legal allegations against the Defendants, such as what warnings Bristol-Myers and Otsuka failed to provide the public, and how the various victims were harmed. The short-form one provides a way for individuals to join the MDL without incurring the time and expense of preparing their own detailed claim.

On May 26, 2017, the Judge James J. DeLuca issued a Case Management Order (CMO) to 11 potential cases for bellwether trials. Judge DeLuca scheduled the selection of the first case for trial in September 2018. The first trial is to be heard in Bergen County Superior Court in October 2018. These cases are used as tests to be prepared for trial, and their results will shape future legal proceedings. The outcomes of these bellwether trials will, in fact, determine whether the defendant will be encouraged to settle other cases if the plaintiffs’ attorneys prevail.