Legal Examiner Voices


Email Mark Bello Mark Bello on LinkedIn Mark Bello on Twitter Mark Bello on Facebook Mark Bello on Avvo
Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

First Zometa Trial Nears Closing Arguments: 550 Are Watching & Waiting

Comments Off

In case you haven’t heard, the first case involving the bone-strengthen medication, Zometa, manufactured by Novartis, has gone to trial. It is alleged that the drug has a side effect of making those who take the drug vulnerable to osteonecrosis, a degenerative jaw disorder. This vulnerability effects, in particular, those patient who must undergo invasive dental procedures such as root canals or extractions.

Peggy Stevens, the plaintiff in the case pending in Missoula County District Court in Montana, has lymphoma, and claims that he developed severe dental and jaw-related problems after taking Zometa. Attorneys wrote in their pre-trial presentation:

"Instead of disclosing concerns about this relationship [between dental work and the jaw disorder] in a timely fashion, Novartis focused on obscuring the causal relationship, delaying disclosure and controlling the public relations fallout that would occur from the disclosure"

According to the lawsuit, Stevens’ condition is incurable and will result in lifelong disability. Trial began on October 13; closing arguments are imminent.

On a much larger scale, Novartis also faces lawsuits from approximately 550 plaintiffs whose cases have been consolidated in certain Tennessee federal and New Jersey state courts. The first of these trials are scheduled for March 2010. This is not class action litigation; it is mass tort litigation. The cases are related, but independent causes of action exist. The cases are very similar, so the outcome of the first few trial will, undoubtedly, set a standard for resolution of future cases.

Lawsuit Financial, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company, wishes these unfortunate plaintiffs and their attorneys well in their pursuit of justice in these cases.