Plaintiffs law firms are sinking their teeth into product liability lawsuits alleging that denture cream products cause zinc buildup in the body and neurological problems.
A dozen cases pending in federal courts in California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee are awaiting the result of a May 28 multidistrict litigation panel hearing in Louisville, Ky. In re Denture Cream Products Liability Litigation, M.D.L. No. 2051.
The cases target PoliGrip denture adhesive maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Procter & Gamble Co., which manufactures Fixodent, and the companies’ subsidiaries.
Scott William Weinstein, an attorney in the Fort Myers, Fla., office of Morgan & Morgan, said his firm has begun to screen more than 3,000 potential cases and is ready to bite the bullet on about 40.
“Tens of millions of consumers use these products, PoliGrip and Fixodent, and you’d be surprised about the demographics,” Weinstein said.
Potential clients range from the elderly, who use the product to adhere a full set of dentures, and younger people, who use denture cream for devices like bridges, he said.
Weinstein, who is also managing partner of Morgan & Morgan’s consumer class action and mass tort department, filed the motion to consolidate the cases as a multidistrict litigation on behalf of his clients in a Southern District of Florida case. Beaver et al v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., No. 0:08-cv-61743 (S.D. Fla.).
Plaintiff Ronald Beaver’s claims in the case include strict products liability and negligence, and plaintiff Alice Beaver’s include loss of consortium.
Weinstein also has a case in the Middle District of Florida. Peterson v. GlaxoSmithKlein Consumer Healthcare, No. 2:08-cv-00831 (M.D. Fla.).
Weinstein said that Morgan & Morgan is also working closely with New York-based Parker Waichman Alonso and The Arnold Law Firm in Sacramento, Calif., which collectively have another 75 cases ready once the multidistrict litigation forum issue is resolved.
Other plaintiffs lawyers are putting out feelers for denture cream cases and looking for a nibble, including Jim Sokolove, chairman of Newton, Mass.-based Sokolove Law. Last month, Sokolove posted a YouTube video on the dangers of dental cream use and set up a consumer hotline to screen potential cases.