U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Claim That Controversial Diet Drug Redux Should Never Have Been Offered to American People
CINCINNATI, Ohio, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An Ohio Federal Court of Appeals ruling issued yesterday is reinstating the late victim's claim that the recalled diet drug Redux (commonly called fen-phen) linked to her death should never have been marketed to the American people by Wyeth due in part to its pre-approval concerns about potentially lethal side effects. The Court, in remanding the case to the trial court, held that Federal drug regulations do not preempt Ohio negligence claims, and indicated that the Supreme Court's 2009 landmark pharmaceutical manufacturer preemption decision (Wyeth v. Levine) may apply beyond inadequate warning-label claims.
Benjamin H. Anderson, Esq., of Anderson Law Offices, LLC of Cleveland, Ohio, counsel for the plaintiff, said, "Mary Buchanan, like so many others, turned to a drug to help her lose weight and as a result she lost her life. She and her surviving family members deserve justice; this is an important decision in her case and for the harms and losses she sustained, as well as the many millions of Americans taking prescription medications who have long been concerned about drug companies being shielded from appropriate state negligence laws. Significantly, the appeals court has also reinstated and remanded to the trial court our claim for punitive damages."
In reversing key sections of the trial court's finding for the defendant on summary judgment in Wimbush v. Wyeth et.al., 6th Cir. No. 09-3380, the three-judge appeals panel held that the trial judge erred in concluding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) preempted the Buchanan family's negligence claims that the drug should never have been made available to Americans given Wyeth-Redux's known health risks, particularly Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH). Mrs. Buchanan, a hard-working and dedicated 66- year-old nurse from Maple Heights, Ohio who took the weight-loss drug during 1996 and 1997, lost her life to PPH in 2003 wit