Elmiron Bellwether Cases Scheduled

With hundreds of Elmiron vision loss cases pending and new plaintiffs coming forward regularly, many Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) users who have suffered vision loss are wondering how long it will take to receive compensation. The answer to that question is different for everyone, and depends on a variety of factors. But, the Elmiron multi-district litigation (MDL) court in New Jersey has taken one big step forward by setting a deadline for the parties to choose bellwether cases and scheduling some of those trials. 

What is a Bellwether Case? 

Bellwether cases are representative cases that are tried early in multi-district litigation to help the judge and the parties more fully understand what to expect as the hundreds or thousands of additional cases move through the courts. Typically, plaintiffs will choose cases they believe to be strong, hoping that large jury verdicts in the early cases will encourage generous settlement offers. Defendants, on the other hand, tend to choose cases that will expose weaknesses in the claims. Often, this learning experience helps the parties reach settlements in many cases, since both have a better idea of how a jury is likely to respond to the claims and how to value the case. 

Elmiron Bellwether Case Timeline

In Case Management Order # 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey directed the Plaintiffs Executive Committee and the Lead Counsel for the defendants to each choose and exchange 10 eligible cases for bellwether discovery by November 15, 2021

Most discovery–that is, exchange of information and documents between the parties–will take place between November 22, 2021 and March 31, 2022

By April 8, 2022, three cases will be selected for bellwether trials. One of these cases will be chosen by the plaintiffs, one by defendants, and one by the court. 

Expert depositions will be conducted between June 17, 2022 and September 9, 2022, and pre-trial motions and briefs will be filed and considered in the months that follow. 

The three selected bellwether cases will be tried in: 

  • January 2023
  • March 2023
  • May 2023


    Why Does it Take So Long to Get to Trial?

    MDL ultimately saves time for most plaintiffs and their counsel, since the information gathered through the bellwether process helps streamline settlement and identify the outlying cases that may proceed to trial. Obviously, trying hundreds or thousands of individual cases would be very time-consuming, and could ultimately delay compensation for many Elmiron users.

    That process involves gathering a lot of information in advance, vetting cases, addressing pre-trial issues, educating the court about the relevant science, deposing witnesses, reviewing thousands of pages of documents, and bringing in expert witnesses to make medical and other scientific information understandable. 

    While January of 2023 may sound distant–especially if you are suffering visual disturbances and in need of compensation–the court and attorneys on both sides will be hard at work during that time moving the litigation forward. Though every case is different, bellwether trials often shift the momentum of large-scale litigation like the Elmiron MDL by kick-starting serious settlement negotiations.

    Can I Still File a Claim for Elmiron-Related Vision Loss? 

    New cases are being regularly added to the MDL. However, there are statutory limitations on how long you have to file a product liability lawsuit, and the time limit is based in part on the specifics of your claim. So, your time to file may be limited. 

    The best source of information about how long you have to file and whether you likely have a valid claim is an attorney who is involved with Elmiron litigation. At Action Matters, we want to make sure every person who may have been injured by Elmiron has quick access to reliable information about how to move forward. So, we’ve made it easy to take the next step. 

    Just fill out the contact form on this page and we’ll connect you with an attorney who handles Elmiron litigation in your area. 

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