Three Dozen Plaintiffs in West Virginia See Lipitor Lawsuits Moved to Federal Court
The US District Court of Bluefield, West Virginia transferred 36 personal injury cases involving the statin drug Lipitor to the US District Court of Southern West Virginia between October 10th and October 14th.
Some of the civil court cases that were transferred involve multiple plaintiffs against Pfizer, the pharmaceutical manufacturer whose blockbuster statin drug Lipitor was approved by the FDA in 1996. The manufacturer’s patent for the drug expired in 2011. In one Lipitor personal injury suit, the actual case involved 14 different plaintiffs.
Of that group, 4 plaintiffs had McDowell County, W.Va addresses; two plaintiffs had Raleigh, NC addresses; one each in West Virginia counties Lincoln, Tucker, Nicholas, and Kanawha; and four plaintiffs resided in New York State.
The plaintiffs in the 36 Lipitor personal injury lawsuits all seek compensatory damages, punitive damages, restitution, refunds for purchase costs, and other damages.
“Because of this increased risk of type 2 diabetes, Lipitor is also associated with, and causes an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, kidney disease and other dangerous conditions,” plaintiffs’ complaint alleges. The complaint states that McDowell County is a proper venue to bring the case because, “defendant does business in this county.”
The plaintiffs allege that prior to the February 2012 change, “Lipitor’s label had never warned patients of any potential relation between changes in blood sugar levels and taking Lipitor,” according to the complaint.
A study, published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that patients who took Lipitor – particularly women – between the ages of 50 and 79 were 48% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Researchers looked at 160,000 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) between 1993 and 2005. Compared to women not taking Lipitor, women on the drug had a 1/3 increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within 9 years. This is a significant increase compared to studies conducted in previous years. In early 2012, the FDA required Pfizer to update Lipitor’s label to include the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Another study published in the British Medical Journal in May 2013 clearly established a link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes. The study showed that women are the highest-risk group.
Pfizer alleges that Lipitor was deemed safe by the FDA and the company did not recommend any off-label or inappropriate uses of the drug.
The Strom Law Firm Is Now Investigating Lipitor Cases
Although many doctors believe that the benefits of statins such as Lipitor outweigh the risks, patients who are otherwise healthy disagree. Type 2 diabetes carries the risk of a wide variety of different side effects, including increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage or neuropathy, kidney damage, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, skin and mouth conditions, and diabetic macular edema, which can lead to blindness.
The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are currently investigating claims that taking Lipitor is related to development of Type 2 diabetes. There may be a limited time to file a claim, so contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800
*Photo credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images