Plaintiffs have successfully defeated Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s motion to dismiss multidistrict litigation relating to alleged compulsive behavior side effects of the widely prescribed drug Abilify. As reported by Law360, U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued a decision on March 16th finding that “consumers have shown their … evidence is sound and reliable and that there is a genuine dispute of material fact over whether Abilify can cause compulsive behavior.”

A similar ruling favorable to aggrieved and injured plaintiffs over Abilify side effects was issued in related proceedings in New Jersey affecting 50 parallel cases. The challenges to consumers’ cases there centered on the drug companies’ criticism of plaintiffs’ evidence, but the court found that the information presented in consumers’ pleadings was “sound and reliable,” predominantly satisfying the relevant evidentiary requirements.

The courts held four days of joint hearings last year on causation issues, and a further “Science Day” earlier in 2017 reviewing expert scientific testimony from both sides. Lieff Cabraser partner Lexi J. Hazam serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and the Science and Expert Sub-Committee for the multidistrict case.

Close to 600 lawsuits have been aggregated in the multidistrict Abilify litigation over claims Abilify causes compulsive behaviors, including uncontrollable gambling that can lead to extreme financial losses. The Abilify gambling addiction injury cases will now move forward to bellwether trials in New Jersey and Florida in the early summer.

Learn more about the Abilify gambling injury lawsuits.

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