FOIAengine Reveals Threat of Litigation
Personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan is gearing up for what could be extensive litigation against the makers of popular weight control drugs.
On October 12, the Orlando, Florida-based law firm submitted to the Food and Drug Administration five Freedom of Information Act requests asking for “communications” and “all records” relating to the FDA’s consideration of Investigational New Drug Applications (INDA) and New Drug Applications (NDA) for Novo Nordisk’s (NYSE:NVO) Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Wegovy, and Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) Mounjaro.
The Morgan & Morgan FOIA requests came two months after the firm’s client, Jaclyn Bjorklund, filed suit in federal court in Lake Charles, Louisiana alleging Novo Nordisk knew about potential risks from Ozempic but failed to provide patients and healthcare providers with adequate warning. Earlier this month, Novo Nordisk filed a motion to dismiss Bjorklund’s lawsuit. Soon after, the judge in the case scheduled the case for trial – to begin in February 2026.
The Bjorklund lawsuit in Louisiana federal court is significant because it is one of the first to go after a maker of the popular weight-loss drugs. An unfavorable outcome for Novo Nordisk could threaten the company’s high-flying stock price.
Not mentioned in Morgan & Morgan’s FOIA requests was Lilly’s Zepbound, which has the same active ingredient as Mounjaro and was approved by the FDA on November 8 for weight control.
Morgan & Morgan’s FOIA requests showed up in FOIAengine, PoliScio’s competitive-intelligence database that tracks FOIA requests in as close to real-time as their availability allows. FOIA requests to the federal government can be an important early warning of bad publicity, litigation, or stock price movements to come.
Morgan & Morgan is one of the leading personal injury and class action law firms in the United States. Founded in 1988 by John Morgan, Morgan & Morgan now has offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The firm is known nationally for its advertising on billboards, buses, television, and radio. John Morgan’s wealth is estimated at over $500 million. He has been active in national and state politics, pursued Florida legislation on marijuana legalization and other issues, and is involved in a range of businesses outside of his law practice. Two of his sons are lawyers at Morgan & Morgan, and one of them, T. Michael Morgan, is listed as a lead attorney on Bjorklund’s Ozempic lawsuit.
The firm’s website states that Morgan & Morgan has recovered more than $15 billion for its clients over the past 35 years and boasts of more than 110,000 total verdicts and settlements. Among its listed specialties are dangerous drugs, class actions, medical malpractice, and defective products.
Wegovy and Zepbound are approved by the FDA as an adjunct to diet and exercise for chronic weight management. Mounjaro and Ozempic are both approved for blood glucose control in patients with Type 2 diabetes, but have also been used for weight control. Rybelsus tablets are used for adults with Type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar levels; it, too, has been shown in studies to help weight loss, although it is not an FDA-approved weight loss medicine.
These weight loss and diabetes drugs come with health warnings. There have been a growing number of reports in recent months of some users experiencing severe and debilitating stomach paralysis from Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro, sometimes resulting in intestinal obstructions, hospitalization, and surgery.
The FDA says Zepbound should not be used in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or in patients with a rare genetic condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2, which causes tumors in the endocrine system. The drug also comes with warnings like those for Wegovy, which include the risk of severe gastrointestinal disease, kidney and pancreatitis-related issues, hypersensitivity reactions, and suicidal behavior. It should also not be used during pregnancy due to the risk of fetal harm.
In July, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) issued a warning about using Ozempic and Wegovy before surgery, stating that the lack of gastric emptying linked to the drugs could put patients at risk of vomiting and aspiration while under the effects of anesthesia. Similar side effects are linked to Mounjaro, which could also pose a problem during surgical anesthesia.
Some former users now are pursuing Mounjaro, Ozempic and Wegovy lawsuits against the drug manufacturers, alleging that they could have avoided permanent injuries if the potential long-term side effects had been properly disclosed.
Morgan & Morgan’s August lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly is one of the first cases of this kind. Given the drugs’ popularity, the question now is whether a litigation wave of similar claims is on the horizon. We’ll be watching.
Next: Hedge fund requests to the SEC.
Randy E. Miller, co-creator of FOIAengine, is a Washington lawyer, publisher, and former government official. He has developed several online information products and was a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he founded the firm’s Brussels office and represented clients on international regulatory matters. Miller also has served as a White House trade lawyer, Senior Legal Adviser to the U.S. Mission to the World Trade Organization, policy director to Senator Bob Dole, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Yale and Georgetown Law. FOIAengine is a product of PoliScio Analytics (PoliScio.com), a new venture specializing in U.S. political and governmental research, co-founded by Miller and Washington journalist John A. Jenkins. Learn more about FOIAengine here. Sign up here to become a beta user of FOIAengine.
Write to Randy E. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.