Elmiron lawsuits claim people suffered serious vision damage after taking the drug. As of March 2024, there were 1,865 lawsuits pending in a federal MDL. There has been no formal Elmiron recall, but some Elmiron lawsuits have confidentially settled in 2023.
Latest Elmiron Lawsuit Updates
As of March 2024, there are 1,865 Elmiron cases pending in multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey before Judge Brian R. Martinotti. A total of 1,982 lawsuits have been filed in the MDL. Settlements are expected in MDL 2973.
Cases continued to be resolved confidentially as MDL numbers slowly decreased. Lawyers were still accepting cases and no new bellwether trials had been selected.
Lawyers were still accepting new cases. Some cases have been settled confidentially.
The first bellwether trial had been scheduled to start at the end of the month. Some lawyers thought that trials were paused as Elmiron manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals negotiates settlements.
Judge Martinotti rescheduled the first bellwether trial, Maria Windham v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., 20-cv-14670, to March 27, 2023. There hadn't been a ruling on the other bellwethers, but these dates were likely moved down to accommodate the rescheduling of the first trial.
The judge scheduled the first bellwether trial in the Elmiron MDL for January 2023. A second trial was scheduled to begin in March 2023 and a third was to follow in May 2023.
Judge Brian Martinotti approved 14 plaintiffs' attorneys for the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, a group of attorneys who oversee and coordinate the litigation for the plaintiffs in the MDL.
Researchers published the first studies linking Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy in 2018. In 2020, Janssen updated the drug label to include a warning for “changes in the retina of the eye (pigmentary maculopathy).” In 2020, shortly after adding the warning to the label, plaintiffs filed the first Elmiron lawsuits.
The first bellwether trial in the Elmiron multidistrict litigation in New Jersey, Windham v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. 2:20-cv-14670, was scheduled for January 2023 and was later moved to March 27, 2023. In April 2023, the parties jointly agreed to withdraw all motions, presumably for settlement talks.
“Elmiron litigation is a few years old at this point. This is a unique case because typically these MDLs move extremely slowly. But we had gotten a lot of the legwork done before the MDL was assigned. The first trial in that case was supposed to happen back in March 2023, and it got postponed,” mass torts and product liability attorney Trent B. Miracle told Drugwatch.
Why Are Elmiron Lawsuits Being Filed?
Elmiron lawsuits are being filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals by plaintiffs who suffered vision problems that could lead to blindness, including maculopathy.
Plaintiffs claim Elmiron, a medication used to treat interstitial cystitis, caused their vision damage and that it is a dangerously defective drug. According to lawsuits, Janssen withheld adverse event reports from the public, medical community and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The lawsuits call for Janssen to pay compensation for permanent vision injuries.
“[Patient’s] lives have been profoundly changed by this. They were taking something they thought was just going to help their day-to-day quality of life because they were in pain. And now, they can’t do things that they took for granted — like just sitting down and reading a book — because they've got maculopathy. The middle of their field of vision could be gone.”
Elmiron Patients File Suit
People began filing lawsuits against Janssen in 2020. Samantha Padelford filed one of the more recent lawsuits in 2023. Padelford took Elmiron from 2001 to 2008, and she claimed she nor her physician were warned about the risks of vision damage. She now suffered from “substantially impaired vision, among other symptoms.”
Three of the earlier lawsuits belonged to Jeanette Milburn, Valarie Hull and Kimberly Pelczar. The three women claimed long-term Elmiron use caused them to develop loss of night vision, pigmentary maculopathy, vision degradation, retinal injury and retinal hemorrhage. They claimed Elmiron was defective and that Janssen failed to warn them and their doctors of the risk of permanent vision damage.
Elmiron Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
In 2023, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson started quietly settling some Elmiron lawsuits, although they have not publicly disclosed any official settlement amounts. Some lawyers estimate that Elmiron lawsuit settlement amounts could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Because there have been no trials, jury verdicts or global Elmiron settlement offers, determining the potential Elmiron lawsuit settlement amounts is challenging. Bellwether trial verdicts usually serve as a benchmark for the value of these cases.
Courts scheduled the first Elmiron bellwether trial for March 2023 but later canceled and never rescheduled it as attorneys continue to work on a potential global settlement.
Am I Eligible To File an Elmiron Lawsuit?
If you have a confirmed diagnosis of eye issues after taking Elmiron for at least two years, you may be eligible to file an Elmiron lawsuit. Lawyers have additional criteria that could affect your chances of qualifying.
- Took Elmiron for at least two years
- Sought medical treatment for vision issues
- Were diagnosed with vision problems, such as pigmentary maculopathy, retinal maculopathy or macular degeneration, after taking Elmiron
- Suffered vision changes such as blurred vision, difficulty reading, distorted vision, eye pain, issues adjusting to darkness, vision disturbances, or vision loss after taking Elmiron
- Were diagnosed with vision problems or started having vision problems while taking the medication or within one year of stopping the medication
- Started having vision problems on or after Jan. 1, 2010
Only a lawyer can tell you for sure if you qualify to file an Elmiron lawsuit. If you aren’t sure if you fit the criteria above, contact an Elmiron lawyer. With just a few questions, they can tell you if you qualify. The consultation is free.
Elmiron Linked to Maculopathy
Several studies have linked Elmiron, the brand name of pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), to a unique type of maculopathy that only occurs in Elmiron users called pigmentary maculopathy. This type of maculopathy could lead to blindness and there is no cure.
“In 2018, eye physicians published the first report of retinal damage associated with Elmiron use,” Miracle told Drugwatch. “Since then, the medical literature regarding eye damage and vision loss associated with Elmiron continues to grow.”
“[Patient’s] lives have been profoundly changed by this. They were taking something they thought was just going to help their day-to-day quality of life because they were in pain. And now, they can’t do things that they took for granted — like just sitting down and reading a book — because they’ve got maculopathy. The middle of their field of vision could be gone,” Miracle said.
Why File an Elmiron Lawsuit?
Filing an Elmiron lawsuit may help those suffering permanent vision problems get compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of quality of life and future care.
Studies have linked Elmiron to permanent vision damage for years, and yet Jannsen didn’t warn the public of the risk until many years later. Some people may file lawsuits to bring awareness to Elmiron’s side effects and prevent others from suffering permanent vision loss.
Elmiron lawsuits may hold Janssen accountable for negligence. When people injured by Elmiron go to trial, they may be awarded punitive damages. Juries award punitive damages to punish defendants for grossly negligent or malicious behavior and to discourage further negligent behavior.
Will There Be an Elmiron Recall?
There has not been an Elmiron recall, despite studies linking the long-term use of the interstitial cystitis drug to potentially permanent vision damage.
The drug has been on the market since 1996 and is still the only oral treatment available for the condition. Janssen didn’t warn about the risk of retinal pigmentary maculopathy until June 2020.
The FDA published the new label with the maculopathy warning but has not issued a statement or safety communication about it. So far, the Agency hasn’t asked Janssen to recall the drug and the drugmaker hasn’t said it plans to issue a recall.
Questions Your Elmiron Lawyer May Ask
When you contact an Elmiron lawyer about your potential Elmiron vision damage case, they may ask you questions about your experience with the drug. Make sure you answer questions with as much detail as possible.
There may be a time limit to file your case, so you should contact an Elmiron lawsuit attorney as soon as you can. There is no charge to contact a lawyer about a potential Elmiron vision damage case.
How can we improve this page?
Thank You for Your Feedback
We appreciate your feedback. One of our content team members will be in touch with you soon.
We appreciate your feedback. One of our content team members will be in touch with you soon.
Calling this number connects you with a Drugwatch representative. We will direct you to one of our trusted legal partners for a free case review.
Drugwatch's trusted legal partners support the organization's mission to keep people safe from dangerous drugs and medical devices. For more information, visit our partners page.