Supreme Court Denies Novartis’ Appeal of Zometa Suit
On May 31, 2011, the Supreme Court rejected Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s appeal of a state court ruling in a lawsuit brought by plaintiff Peggy Stevens of Missoula, alleging that the company should have disclosed the health risks associated with Zometa. Like Fosamax, Zometa is a bisphosphonate drug used to treat osteoporosis; however Fosamax is manufactured by Merck & Co. Because of her Zometa use, Stevens suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw (“ONJ”). The jury awarded Stevens $822,000 in lost income and $2,378,000 in non-economic damages for mental anguish, inconvenience, and pain and suffering for a total of $3.2 million in damages. The jury also found that Novartis hid important and relevant information and that its failure to warn consumers of the dangers associated with the drug caused Peggy Steven’s injuries. Additionally, the only warnings about ONJ were displayed in a 20-page pamphlet inside the drug’s box, with writing so small it couldn’t be read.
Risks Associated with Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Zometa
Fosamax, also in the bisphosphonate class of drugs, is similar to Zometa. Both Zometa and Fosamax can cause (“ONJ”). Like Novartis, Merck is currently defending numerous lawsuits brought by individuals who sustained injuries as a result of their Fosamax use. In addition to the ONJ lawsuits, Merck is also being sued by individuals who sustained atypical femur fractures after taking Fosamax. Specifically, plaintiffs bringing Fosamax lawsuits allege that Merck failed to properly and adequately warn consumers that Fosamax puts patients at a higher risk for developing ONJ and atypical femur fractures. In addition to ONJ, numerous studies have shown that bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, are linked to femur fractures. Both Novartis and Merck have been widely criticized for creating and selling drugs without properly and adequately warning consumers of the inherent and dangerous risks associated with their use.
The Supreme Court’s rejection of Novartis’ petition for a writ of certiorari indicates that bisphosphonate lawsuits are sustainable and a viable option for those who have been injured as a result of these drugs. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeal is indicative of the serious nature of injuries that these drugs can cause.
Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuit
If you or a loved one sustained a femur fracture as a result of Fosamax use, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact one of our Fosamax lawyers today for a free and confidential evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, our Fosamax injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.