Jon Campisi Nov. 30, 2012, 10:17am

A North Carolina man who claims he sustained heart problems three years ago as a result of taking the diabetes drug Avandia has filed a federal lawsuit against the makers of the drug in eastern Pennsylvania.

Rock McIlvain alleges that his use of Avandia between July 2009 and February 2010 caused him to develop a myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction in early December 2009, which required coronary artery angioplasty and stent placement.

The plaintiff asserts that his ingestion of a form of Avandia called Avandamet was the sole cause of his injuries.

McIlvain and his wife, Angela, are being represented by attorneys Michael L. Baum, Cynthia L. Garber and Cara J. Luther, of the firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.

The former two work out of the firm’s Los Angeles office while Luther works at the firm’s Philadelphia location.

GlaxoSmithKline and Smithkline Beecham Corp. are named as the defendants in the litigation.

The lawsuit accuses the drug companies of marketing and selling Avandia and its various forms even though they knew, or should have known, that the pharmaceutical was associated with a significant increased risk of heart failure, myocardial ischemia and ischemic events such as cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction and stroke.

“Rather than issue proper warnings and provide accurate information about Avandia’s risks and benefits, GSK chose instead to keep its deceptive propaganda and marketing machine running full steam and never took any affirmative steps to correct the misinformation and deceptive advertising scheme that it had and continued to perpetuate, ensuring that it would continue to maximize the prescription and sale of Avandia so long as diabetics, physicians, and the general public remained unaware of Avandia’s true risks,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint says that Avandia continues to pose significant safety risks due to defects in its chemical design and inadequate labeling.

It also alleges that to date, the defendant drug companies have failed to adequately warn or inform consumers and prescribing physicians of the known defects in Avandia that can lead to increased risks of cardiovascular events, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease and injury, excessive fluid retention, fluid-overload disease, liver damage and failure, stroke and/or severe injury to the heart leading to cardiac arrest and even death.

The complaint contains counts of negligence, negligent failure to adequately warn, negligence per se, negligent Pharmaco-Vigilance, strict liability, breach of warranties, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and violation of consumer protection laws.

There is also a loss of consortium count filed on behalf of McIlvain’s wife, which claims she has been deprived of her husband’s love, companionship and care due to his injuries.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified general, special and punitive damages, as well as pre-and-post-judgment interest, litigation costs and other relief.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-06638-CMR. 

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