“Signature Disease” Status Doesn’t Change the Analysis for Certifying Medical Monitoring Claims in a Prescription Drug Case

February 05, 2008
The federal court charged with overseeing the Fosamax multi-district products liability litigation recently declined plaintiffs’ request to certify three state-specific classes seeking recovery for medical monitoring in In re Fosamax Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 06-1789, 2008 WL 58890 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 3, 2008). The putative representative claimants had failed to satisfy the requirements for class certification under Rule 23, according to Judge John F. Keenan, because the proposed class definitions were irreparably overbroad and because too many individual questions of fact particular to each class member’s claim rendered class treatment an inappropriate method of adjudication. This article discusses this case and its potential implications on plaintiffs’ pursuit of class-wide medical monitoring theories of liability in pharmaceutical mass tort litigation.