Valsartan Lawsuit

Valsartan is a popular prescription medication that doctors use to treat high blood pressure, strokes, congestive heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease, among other conditions. The drug was popular for many years, but trouble started in 2018. That year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled certain batches of the drug on the ground that they contained carcinogens, such as NDMA and NDEA. Litigation is ongoing.

The History of Valsartan Use

The first country to approve the use of Valsartan was Switzerland in 1996. The U.S. followed in 1997, and since then, Valsartan has been used in over 150 countries. 

Millions of people in the United States alone have used Valsartan, and it was one of the nation’s most popular prescription medications for many years. Its patent expired in 2012, which means it now has generic variants.

Some U.S. Valsartan manufacturers relied on suppliers in India and China before these companies discovered NDMA and NDEA contamination. 

These carcinogens can cause or increase the risk of:

  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer

NDMA and NDEA might cause other forms of cancer as well. Unfortunately, some people used Valsartan from the contaminated batches for years.

Elements of a Valsartan Claim: What You Have to Prove to Win

The elements of a Valsartan claim (the facts you have to prove to win) depend on what kind of claim you are filing. In other words, there is more than one way to assert a Valsartan-based product liability claim. The two most common theories of liability are:


The assertion is that Valsartan manufacturers knew about the contamination and dangers of Valsartan but failed to act to protect the public. This theory of liability works a lot like other negligence claims.

Strict Liability 

In a strict liability claim, you don’t need to directly prove fault. Instead, you must prove that the product contained a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a warning defect that rendered it unreasonably dangerous.

You can sue any party in the product’s chain of distribution without proving fault. The fact that the product’s manufacturing defect arose overseas is one reason why you might want to rely on strict liability to sue a U.S. distributor rather than sue a Chinese or Indian supplier in their home country.

Causation and Damages

You have to prove that you suffered harm and that your use of Valsartan was the cause of that harm. This can be the most difficult part of the case since even if you have cancer, you may or may not be able to prove that Valsartan was the cause.

State Law Valsartan Cases

After the 2018 FDA recall, product liability cases started piling up in state courts, including the courts of Illinois. So far, there are thousands of plaintiffs nationwide.

MDL Consolidation

When thousands of cases arise with very similar facts, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to relitigate the same issues thousands of times. That’s okay because the federal judiciary has a system known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). With MDL, you consolidate the cases into a single case in federal court–in this case, the New Jersey federal court. The federal court will resolve redundant issues for the sake of efficiency. 

The court will dismiss some of the cases and encourage the settlement of others. It will then send the remainder of the cases back to the state courts for the final resolution of individual cases.  

The Statute of Limitations To File a Valsartan Lawsuit

The normal statute of limitations for Illinois personal injury claims is two years after the accident or incident that produced the injury. It’s like a two-year countdown to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit means filing a formal written complaint, paying a filing fee, and making diligent efforts to notify the defendant (service of process). When the countdown ends, you must have either filed a lawsuit or finalized a settlement. 

The Discovery Rule

Normally, if you miss the two-year deadline, your claim dies. You can’t even negotiate a settlement–after all, why should the defendant negotiate with you when you can’t even sue them? But there are limited exceptions. 

The most significant exception when it comes to Valsartan litigation is the discovery rule. If your doctor prescribed Valsartan to you before 2018, there is no way you could have known of its dangers at the time. Because of this, the two-year countdown doesn’t begin until you knew or should have known that you had a Valsartan claim. 

Nevertheless, the law in this area is complex, especially because the MDL case in the New Jersey federal court invokes federal law. You definitely need a lawyer to help you work this out.

Do You Have a Valsartan Product Liability Claim?

This is the bottom line: if you have a Valsartan product liability claim, it may or may not be too late for you to seek compensation. Your best bet is to schedule a free initial consultation with a Chicago product liability lawyer

During the consultation, you can ask questions and explore your options. Don’t worry about money. Almost all product liability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay if you win.

Contact the Chicago Product Liability Law Firm of Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Today

For more information, please contact the experienced Chicago Product Liability lawyers at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys today. We offer free consultations.

We proudly serve Cook County, Will County, Kendall County, and its surrounding areas:

Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys – Chicago Office
10 S La Salle St STE 1230, Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 726-1616