Monday, August 03, 2015
C-Day for Eli Lilly
I do love it when pharmaceutical companies enter into trials (litigation) in the small hope that they can persuade judges to toss cases on points of law.
Litigation fascinates me and it's something that has been very much part of my reading materiel over the past few years or so. I should have studied law, I guess it's never too late - sadly I have the memory of a sieve and don't think I could soak and retain any information given to me... and then sit a bar exam. So, it's just a hobby of mine to read through court transcripts and depositions.
There are many stages of litigation before it actually gets into court. In the main, both sides try and strike a deal that will suit both parties, those making the claim and those defending the claim. Pharmaceutical attorneys are in the business of saving their clients money so they will do pretty much everything in their power to make it difficult for plaintiffs. America is different to the UK in the respect that Pharmaceutical companies, when facing group actions (class-action lawsuits) try to consolidate them all so they are heard in a specific state, a state that may have a different set of rules (laws) than any other state, a state that normally gives them a better chance of success (due to favourable laws)
Pharmaceutical attorneys also apply for "Summary Judgement". In a nutshell this means that they apply to a judge and ask him to strike the cases against them because, "they will argue that no factual issues remain to be tried and therefore a cause of action or all causes of action in a complaint can be decided upon certain facts without trial."
One recent motion for "Summary Judgement" came in the cases Herrera v. Eli Lilly and Company (case no. 2:13-cv-2702-SVW-MAN) and Hexum v. Eli Lilly and Company (case no. 2:13-cv-2701-SVW-MAN)
Eli Lilly and Company are defending cases brought against them regarding their antidepressant, Cymbalta. The crux of the claim is that Lilly failed to adequately warn the plaintiffs and their physicians of Cymbalta’s true withdrawal risks. Lilly filed a motion for "Summary Judgement" and the judge (Judge Stephen V. Wilson, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles) denied them this motion. Now, Lilly go to trial to face the allegations and, more than likely, they will use points of law throughout the trial, or rather they will exhaust every single avenue to try and get the cases dismissed. If this doesn't show the average person how guilty they are then I don't know what will.
The beauty of this trial is that Lilly are up against a formidable team in Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. The Los Angeles based law firm have quite a history when going up against pharmaceutical companies. They, along with three other law firms are representing over 2,000 plaintiffs who allege they have suffered injury, and in some cases, death, due to symptoms suffered while attempting to discontinue Cymbalta.
Cymbalta has been prescribed widely and there have been many reports of severe withdrawal reactions to it. Lilly, just like other antidepressant manufacturers, chose to either ignore these reports or, as the case may be, play down the reactions, ie; blame the illness rather than the product. It's a classic stance of the pharmaceutical industry and, it has to be said, a classic stance of those who regulate prescription medications (FDA). You can judge for yourselves if you think it's difficult to taper from Cymbalta, here.
These cases are ones that I shall be keeping tabs on. The first starts Tuesday Aug. 4 in Los Angeles.
Oh to be living in California right now. I'd pretty much drop everything to be present at trial, I'd pretty much like to see Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman in action and Lilly attorneys too.
I like a flutter now and again - I'm betting that Lilly will, at some point during these series of group actions, cave in and settle. First though, they must try to find legal loopholes to avoid paying out millions of dollars, those dollars being the profit they have made on Cymbalta. Profit that came about due to their failure to warn against the horrific withdrawal reactions many have had to endure.
Let's get these items of disclosure out into the public domain, let's see how Lilly played down the risk.
Yup, I do love it when Pharmaceutical companies refuse to offer settlement. It makes blogging such a pleasure and enlightens and educates me.
Sad, I know but, hey-ho, some folks like to knit, some like to go to the gym.
I like to read and disseminate information regarding the dangers of these drugs and the way that pharmaceutical companies, such as Lilly, hold back information from the public purely to keep their pockets bulging and to keep their shareholders happy.
More coming soon.
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.