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Three-State Ruling Sought Against Fosamax

(August 19, 2011)

Three-State Ruling Sought Against Fosamax

(courtesy photo)

A Fosamax lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs claiming that they are at a higher risk of developing osteonecrosis (ONJ) because they use Fosamax. Attempts to file a three-state lawsuit against the product were rejected by Judge John F. Keenan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The reason for the Federal Judge’s ruling was stated because he felt that Fosamax problems can vary with each individual plaintiff, and therefore the claims should be handled individually. “As the evidence presented shows that the risk of ONJ varies depending upon a Fosamax user’s unique medical history and the circumstances surrounding his or her own use, the Court is not satisfied that the need for the proposed monitoring program could be proven on a class-wide basis,” Judge Kennan held. He also concluded that the request contained many flaws that made “class certification untenable and failed to define a proper class”. Another concern that Judge Kennan had pertained to the fact that one representative took Fosamax in 1999 — six years before a warning about ONJ appeared on the drug’s label in 2005. Therefore, according to Judge Kennan, “the plaintiff’s claim cannot be considered typical of a class of plaintiffs that will include patients who took Fosamax after 2005 and will have to similarly prove negligence and failure to warn under significantly different circumstances”. Interestingly, the Fosamax users from Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania who had filed the suit, had not yet been diagnosed with ONJ or any other side effects from Fosamax, but the plaintiffs sought a Merck-sponsored fund that would be used to pay for twice-yearly dental exams and consultation.

Fosamax is a medication commonly prescribed for the diagnosis of osteoporosis, and though a rare side effect, can cause osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis (ONJ), a disease of the jaw, occurs when bone tissue dies as a result of an inadequate blood supply flowing into the area and is one of the documented side effects of Fosamax.
If you take Fosamax and feel that you may be entitled to damages caused by side effects incurred by its use, you should contact a Fosamax attorney and set up a consultation.

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