Pfizer, Inc. is trying to prevent the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals from reviewing a Lipitor whistleblower lawsuit that was dismissed in November 2012, after the federal government declined to intervene in the case. The company is also awaiting a decision from another federal panel regarding the possible consolidation of Lipitor lawsuit claims that allege use of the cholesterol-lowering statin caused diabetes.
According to a report from Law360.com, the whistleblower complaint was filed in 2004, and accused Pfizer of improperly marketing the medication for off-label uses. The relator in the case, a former Pfizer employee, also claimed he was wrongly fired in 2003, after presenting his concerns to his superior in 2002.
According to Pfizer, when the whistleblower case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan in 2012, he inadvertently dismissed the relator’s claim that he was wrongfully fired. In oral arguments before the 2nd Circuit on Monday, attorneys for the company argued that because the employment claims haven’t been resolved, the appeals court has no jurisdiction over the case.
The relator is seeking to have the entire lawsuit revised on the basis that Judge Cogan incorrectly found that guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health did not impose mandatory requirements on Pfizer regarding its marketing practices. His attorneys argued for a stricter reading of the term “guidelines,” Law360.com said.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) heard oral arguments regarding the possible consolidation of all federally-filed Lipitor diabetes lawsuits. The February 6th hearing was supposed to have been convened in January, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Court records indicate that at least 100 Lipitor lawsuits alleging use of the drug caused Type 2 diabetes are now pending in federal courts around the country.
This was the second time the JPML was asked to consider a multidistrict litigation for Lipitor diabetes claims. Last April, it rejected a previous plaintiff petition on the grounds that there were too few filings to justify consolidating the cases. But at the time, only about a dozen Lipitor lawsuits involving diabetes allegations had been filed.
Lipitor patients who may have developed diabetes due to their use of the statin should consider filing their own Lipitor lawsuit to obtain compensation for their injuries. To learn more, and to arrange for a free case review, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today, at .