Ozempic manufacturer Novo Nordisk faces dozens of lawsuits filed by individuals affected by stomach paralysis

Treven Pyles

By Treven Pyles

Posted on April 10th, 2024

Since the summer of 2023, more and more people who had used the diabetes drug Ozempic have been suing manufacturer Novo Nordisk, claiming the medication was responsible for their stomach paralysis. Also known as gastroparesis, stomach paralysis is a serious medical condition in which the nerves and muscles of the stomach are affected.

Headquartered in Bagsvaerd, Denmark, the pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk has been producing Ozempic, a drug meant to keep type II diabetes under control, for nearly 20 years. The drug works by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone and slowing digestion by increasing the time it takes for food to exit the body. The effect is similar to that of a bariatric surgery. Healthcare providers wrote over 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic and similar drugs in the final three months of 2022. It is worth noting that, sometimes, the drug is prescribed off-label, as using it can lead to significant weight loss.

Recently, it has come to light that using Ozempic can result in a serious, debilitating medical condition known as gastroparesis or stomach paralysis. This is a disorder that slows the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. In some patients, stomach paralysis is irreversible. Ozempic belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists, and the active ingredient in this medication is semaglutide. According to researchers, when compared to patients using other weight-loss drugs, GLP-1 agonists were associated with a more than 3 times higher risk of stomach paralysis.

Novo Nordisk, accused of failure to warn in the Ozempic lawsuit

A lawsuit, which was filed on August 2, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, is the first to allege Ozempic can cause gastrointestinal injuries, specifically stomach paralysis. Jaclyn Bjorklund, a 44-year-old woman, accused Novo Nordisk of failing to warn - or adequately warn - of all the possible adverse side effects that can arise from using the medication, including the risk of gastroparesis.

The woman was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2017 and used Ozempic for more than one year, then switched to Mounjaro, a similar drug, in July 2023, with both drugs prescribed by her doctors to control her blood sugar. As a result, she suffered from "severe gastrointestinal events," including the following, according to the lawsuit:

  • severe vomiting
  • throwing up food hours after eating
  • stomach pain
  • hospitalizations for stomach issues
  • teeth falling out because of excessive vomiting
  • gastrointestinal burning

Shortly after, Novo Nordisk was hit with a surge of Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuits. In January 2024, a woman from Idaho also filed a lawsuit with the manufacturer, alleging that the company was negligent and fraudulently misrepresented the drug's potential to cause gastrointestinal issues. Sandra Linney, who became one of the numerous plaintiffs in the Ozempic lawsuit, claims she was hospitalized and had to have her gallbladder removed after taking the diabetes drug.

In February 2024, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all Ozempic lawsuits in federal court be centralized in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. At the moment, there are 13 lawsuits - of the 55 known cases - in this district and before U.S. District Judge Gene E. K. Pratter. The multidistrict litigation is assigned to a federal court in Philadelphia because of its proximity to Novo Nordisk headquarters in Plainfield, New Jersey. Attorneys handling these cases estimate that over 10,000 Ozempic lawsuits might be filed in Pennsylvania.

Currently, at least one lawsuit, namely that filed by Jaclyn Bjorklund, claims that Novo Nordisk was aware of the link between Ozempic and gastroparesis before it released the medication. If her attorneys can prove that claim in court, attorneys in future Ozempic lawsuits will probably follow suit and make similar claims.

Our skilled attorneys will offer you quality legal assistance if you were injured by using Ozempic

With over 35 years of experience in handling defective drug cases, our attorneys are ready to help you file your Ozempic stomach paralysis claim if you were injured as a result of using the drug. To have your case thoroughly evaluated, all you need to do is send our legal team evidence of your Ozempic use and your medical records with your gastroparesis diagnosis. We will carefully assess these documents to determine whether you are entitled to financial compensation.

If we determine that you are eligible to file a claim with Novo Nordisk, our attorneys will promptly begin working on your case. Since we are aware of how debilitating suffering from stomach paralysis can be, our compassionate legal team will go to great lengths to simplify the process for you. If our endeavors are fruitful, you might receive the maximum financial compensation available for your stomach paralysis diagnosis.