CASE UPDATE: Working Through Assessment Phase

February 2019 - Benicar is currently more than halfway through the assessment phase in regards to its settlement. While appeals and lien determinations are still ongoing, we are hopeful that initial offers will be released in late spring and payments will start disbursing by next fall.

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Benicar is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications. Benicar is one of eight marketed ARB drugs, and the only one linked to sprue-like enteropathy.

Benicar was first approved for market in 2002. It is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo.

The symptoms of Benicar enteropathy look very similar to those of Celiac Disease. But, unlike Celiac Disease, a gluten-free lifestyle will not improve the symptoms. The only way to improve Benicar enteropathy is by discontinuing the medication. If you have experienced any of the following side effects and you have been prescribed Benicar for hypertension, contact your health care professional right away.


Benicar Lawsuit

On July 4, 2013, the FDA issued a warning that Benicar causes sprue-like enteropathy. According to the FDA warning, symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. The FDA approved changes to the labels of Benicar to include this concern.

The FDA previously sent Benicar manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, a warning regarding the manufacturer’s false advertising of Benicar. In 2010, the FDA released a warning that Benicar may increase the risk of death in diabetic patients.

Prior to the FDA warning, in 2012 the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota studied 22 patients hospitalized and presenting symptoms similar to celiac disease – unexplained chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and enteropathy. But, unlike celiac disease, these patients were unable to control these symptoms with a gluten-free lifestyle and antibody blood tests did not support a diagnosis of celiac disease.

The Mayo Clinic discovered that each of the patients was prescribed Benicar for their hypertension. Suspecting this was more than a coincidence, the Mayo clinic asked the severely injured patients to discontinue their use of Benicar. After discontinuing Benicar, the patients confirmed that chronic diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and other intestinal inflammation symptoms improved. Furthermore, after discontinuing Benicar, the patients gained an average of 27 pounds.

Following this link, an additional 40 patients have been determined to have Benicar-associated sprue-like enteropathy. These numbers are likely to increase given the significant delay between the onset of severe sprue-like enteropathy and the start of the medication.

Multiple studies released in 2014 support a link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy. If you have questions, contact TorHoerman Law.

Litigation Updates

THL Actively Working Through Settlement Claims Process

August 2018 - We are actively working through the settlement claims process. We have submitted claims and supporting documentation on all of our clients and will continue to work with the settlement administrator as they review this information and request additional evidence, etc. We hope to have initial settlement allocations before the end of 2018.


$300 Settlement Reached - Courts Working On Resolution

April 2018 - In August of 2017, a global settlement of $300 million was announced with Defendants Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories. The settlement applies to consumers who took the drug prior to May 17, 2015. Since then, the Court and the parties have been working together to effectively put in motion a resolution process that efficiently handles the complexities of the case.

The Court has already required two preliminary census submissions so as to get a general idea of the number of plaintiffs who may qualify for the settlement. The deadline for plaintiffs to opt-in to the settlement was in May 2018. This deadline will be followed by a review and appeal process which will lead us into individual allocations. We are optimistic that by early 2019 our clients will have an idea of their case’s potential settlement value.

Benicar MDL Established in New Jersey – Cases Move Forward

April 5, 2015 - A federal judicial panel has granted a request to consolidate lawsuits claiming that blood-pressure medication Benicar could cause severe gastrointestinal injuries.

On April 3, 2015, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard arguments from plaintiffs and defense counsel on proper jurisdictions in which to centralize the Benicar litigation and held that Benicar cases will be transferred to the District of New Jersey and heard in front of the Honorable Robert B. Kugler.

It is important to understand that your case may be grouped together with other cases in the New Jersey MDL for procedural purposes, but you should not be concerned that your unique injury and concerns will be lost in consolidation. The courts group cases together so the attorneys and judge can address common procedural issues initially, saving time for the injured parties and the court.

Even when plaintiffs incur injuries from the same defendant, such as the case in the Benicar lawsuits, the number of damages they may recover for those injuries are often substantially different from other plaintiffs included in the same lawsuit.

The Benicar lawsuits are not a "class action." The MDL in New Jersey will manage all pretrial proceedings for Benicar lawsuits across the country. Plaintiffs who become a part of the MDL will get to keep their own lawyers and have their suits treated individually. If the cases are not settled after pretrial, they will return to their home districts where the lawsuits were filed to proceed for trial.


Benicar Does Not Cause Celiac Disease – Lawsuits Filed Claim Individuals Have a Sprue-Like Enteropathy

April 24, 2014 - The lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals severely injured while taking Benicar claim that Benicar caused a rare gastrointestinal disease known as sprue-like enteropathy. Sprue-like enteropathy has many of the same symptoms of Celiac disease such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, rapid and excessive weight loss, dehydration, cardiovascular problems

Therefore, individuals presenting with these symptoms are often misdiagnosed with "Celiac disease." Celiac disease triggers the immune system to produce certain antibodies. Blood tests are used to find and measure antibodies and help confirm a diagnosis of the disease.

It is important to understand that Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and has not been linked to any drug – the lawsuits being filed do not claim that individuals taking Benicar have Celiac disease.


FDA Approves Change in Label

July 3, 2013 - The FDA approved a change in Benicar's label to warn about the increased risks of sprue-like enteropathy. The warning arose from a study done at the Mayo Clinic where 23 Benicar patients reported severe diarrhea and weight loss. These patients were suspected to have celiac disease; however, blood tests for the patients did not support this diagnosis. But, in each of these instances, the patient’s conditions improved significantly after they stopped taking Benicar.

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Last Modified: July 24th, 2019 @ 07:07 am

What is Benicar?

The FDA warns that the high blood pressure drug, Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. Gastrointestinal symptoms associated with sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss. At this time, TorHoerman Law is no longer taking Benicar Lawsuit cases.