Sunday, September 04, 2011
Seroquel Blogger Told To "Cease and Desist"
Blogging can be a very useful tool to get under the skin of corporate companies that are used to getting their own way. In the past I, myself, have been sent a threatening letter by GlaxoSmithKline lawyers, Addleshaw Goddard, I apparently upset one of GlaxoSmithKline's employees, Head of Psychiatry, Alastair Benbow because of a video I created and posted to YouTube. According to GSK, Benbow no longer works for them.
More recently Leonie Fennell, who writes about Lundbeck, Cipramil [Celexa] and Irish psychiatrists amongst other things, was sent not one but two letters by Brophy Solicitors, an Irish law firm representing Irish psychiatrist Patricia Casey. Casey didn't like what Fennell had wrote about her. Boo hoo.
Now we have an anonymous blogger who writes the Seroquel Lawsuit Blog. Seroquel [Quetiapine], a powerful antipsychotic, is used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, it's also prescribed "off label" for an array of other "mental disorders." It has, in the past, also been used for "sleep disorders".
The blog, it appears, was created for victims of AstraZeneca's Seroquel to have a voice, a place to disseminate information, and to bring about awareness. More recently AstraZeneca have offered an out of court settlement to plaintiffs who claim that they have been left with diabetes and other serious injuries after ingesting Seroquel.
A number of posts appeared throughout the month of June that related to that settlement. At the end of June the anonymous blogger publicly posted the settlement package online. This, it would appear, has set the hounds out from lawyers who represent the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, which involves over 28,000 claimants and, according to the Seroquel Lawsuit Blog, each claimant has been offered between $11,000 - $25,000. This seems a paltry amount considering the injuries sustained by the claimants.
At this point it may be beneficial to know that when a settlement is reached, the defendant normally admit no liability.
The trouble with litigation is that it is purely about money. The law firm representing the plaintiffs try and get the best deal possible without actually entering a Courtroom. In this instance the law firm have determined that a figure between $11,000 - $25,000 is suitable compensation for those harmed by Seroquel... or rather those who are part of the group action where no liability is being admitted. The anonymous blogger claims that 40% will be deducted from each amount, which makes the final settlement quite paltry.
The blog is certainly having an impact. On Aug 17 2011 Reuters, the news agency directed readers to the letter Weitz & Luxenberg sent to its Seroquel clients, announcing the group settlement and explaining the allocation process. The letter was uploaded by the anonymous Seroquel Lawsuit blogger.
The whole blog is a minefield of information, much of which has prompted attorney's to contact a litigant in the lawsuit whom they believe to be the source of information behind the blog.
It's interesting to see victims of pharmaceutical products taking a stance like this and shows just how powerful a tool the Internet can be for the small man. Future litigation cases may take into account recent events and pharmaceutical companies, like AstraZeneca, may have to just stop and think before they make such degrading offers to victims harmed by their products.
The Seroquel Lawsuit Blog can be read HERE
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Advocacy, AstraZeneca, Diabetes, Gagging Orders, Garretson Firm Resolution Group, Lawsuits, Quetiapine, seroquel, Settlement, Weitz and Luxenberg