A number of cases have already been brought on the same allegations as this one: that lots of a drug called valsartan were sold in the US despite being contaminated with a substance called NDEA. The complaint in this case brings suit against Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. and Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., a maker of the drug located in India.
The class for this action is all persons or entities who bought or used Aurobindo’s contaminated valsartan in California.
Valsartan is a drug normally prescribed for high blood pressure. The complaint alleges that Aurobindo advertised and marketed the drug as safe.
The plaintiff in this case, Carrie Collins, was prescribed the drug, bought it around November 2018, “and subsequently used it as intended.” The complaint alleges that Aurobindo knew that the drug was contaminated and did not warn Collins or any other consumer of the problem.
At some point, some lots of valsartan were discovered to be contaminated with a chemical called N-nitrosodiethylamine, or NDEA. NDEA is classified as a probable human carcinogen, and contamination of a medication with NDEA renders it unfit for its intended purpose, the complaint contends.
Aurobindo, a maker of the drug, including the lot used by Collins, recalled eighty lots of valsartan from consumers. These included Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets USP, and Valsartan USP.
However, the complaint alleges, “Defendant’s recall was inadequate. Defendants offered no refund to consumer[s] who purchased Defendant’s defective Valsartan.”
The complaint alleges violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, including for “[r]epresenting that goods … are of a particular standard …, if they are of another…” It also claims breach of implied warranty under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Act, which prohibits any unlawful, unfair, and/or fraudulent business practice.
This case was originally filed as a state action in the California courts. However, eight other cases have been filed with similar allegations in other legal districts. This case has therefore been removed to federal courts. The Notice of Removal from the defendants states that the “ultimate disposition sought” is to join a multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey that has combined the eight other cases, so that they can all be tried together.