Judge Casey Rogers’ mediation efforts finally paid off as the parties involved in the first three Abilify-gambling bellwether cases agreed to settle the dispute before the scheduled June trials. The formal news was announced by the release of a court order issued by Judge Rogers on April 28 informing that the parties have agreed to settle, though the terms have not been disclosed. The order also states that ‘’the defendants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals must pay the settlement proceeds to Plaintiffs and, in turn, Plaintiffs must execute full releases, at which time the trial dates will be removed from the Court’s docket.’’
The second round of early bellwether trials is expected to be scheduled soon by Judge Rodgers.
Over 800 Abilify lawsuits were centralized in October 2016 as a part of MDL No. 2734 (In Re: Abilify Compulsive Behavior Products Liability Litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida alleging that the defendants failed to warn the consumers and the medical community about the gambling risks associated with Abilify.
Superior Court Judge James De Luca is presiding over the cases filed in the parallel state court litigation established in New Jersey for which trials are expected to begin by the end of this year.