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Suboxone is a medication containing buprenorphine, which is a first-line treatment for opioid addiction. Suboxone is sold as oral tablets or film and is meant to be left in the mouth, either under the tongue or in the cheek, and allowed to dissolve to take effect. However, in recent years, researchers have identified a link between buprenorphine drugs like Suboxone and serious oral health issues,1 and in 2023 the Canadian label for the drug was updated with a dental warning.2

In the U.S., several hundred people who have suffered serious dental injuries after using Suboxone film have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of Suboxone in federal court. On February 5, 2024, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved the consolidation of all similar Suboxone lawsuits in federal court into multi-district litigation (“MDL”).3 In Canada, Siskinds is pursuing mass litigation on behalf of Canadians who’ve also suffered dental problems.

What is multi-district litigation?

In an MDL, similar or related lawsuits are transferred before one judge to help resolve the lawsuits more efficiently. All pretrial proceedings, including discovery, issues related to certification, and evidentiary and dispositive motions are overseen by a single judge. The Court may also conduct bellwether trials of a few cases to help with resolution and test allegations.

MDLs aim to reduce duplication of discovery, prevent inconsistency amongst rulings, and conserve judicial resources. Plaintiffs’ lawyers can work together and combine their efforts.

Suboxone multi-district litigation

The Suboxone MDL (1:24-md-3092) was assigned to Judge Philip Calabrese in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland).

On May 16, 2024, Judge Calabrese issued Case Management Order No. 4 (CMO 4), setting out a deadline for the Plaintiff’s Leadership Committee (PLC) to file an ‘exemplar” complaint and to provide information on each individual advancing a lawsuit in the litigation.4 On June 14, 2024, the PLC filed the Complaint, along with a 350+ page schedule listing information on hundreds of individuals looking to seek recovery, collected from plaintiffs’ firms throughout the US.5

What is happening in Canada? Can I pursue a claim?

In Canada, Siskinds LLP and our Québec affiliate, Siskinds Desmeules, have also filed proposed class actions on behalf of Canadians alleging that Suboxone caused them serious dental harms.

If you or someone you know took Suboxone and suffered dental problems, contact us by email at [email protected] or call 1-800-461-6166. To learn more, visit siskinds.com/Suboxone.

1 Winstock AR, et al. Patients’ help-seeking behaviours for health problems associated with methadone and buprenorphine treatment. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2008;27(4):393-397; Suzuki J, et al. Sublingual buprenorphine and dental problems: a case series. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2013;15(5):PCC.13l01533

2 https://pdf.hres.ca/dpd_pm/00069997.PDF

3 https://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/sites/ohnd/files/24md3092%20Transfer%20Order.pdf

4 https://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/sites/ohnd/files/24md3092%20CMO%204.pdf

5 https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2024-06-14-Complaint.pdf

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