Jon Campisi Mar. 19, 2014, 10:13am


For the second time in as many weeks, a Philadelphia personal injury law

firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who claims he suffered injuries due to his use of a testosterone supplement medication.

Lawyers with Ross Feller Casey on Tuesday filed a civil complaint at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court on behalf of Edwin Rios and his wife, Eileen, who reside in southern New Jersey.

The Vineland couple claims Edwin, who is 67 and has no history of cardiovascular problems, suffered a myocardial infarction last spring, something the plaintiffs attribute to the man’s use of the medication Testim.

The plaintiff, who is also a Type II diabetic, began using Testim in May 2012.

He suffered the heart attack about a year later.

The lawsuit says that the injury was caused by the “exogenously administered testosterone-containing medication Testim,” which is manufactured and distributed by Chesterbrook, Pa.-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Philadelphia’s GlaxoSmithKline, the two defendants named in the litigation.

The civil complaint accuses the drug companies of knowing Testim was dangerous, but nevertheless failing to provide adequate safety warnings.

Testim, like other testosterone gels that are applied to a man’s upper arms, provides a “continuous transdermal delivery system for testosterone for 24 hours following a single application to the skin,” according to the lawsuit.

Testim, which received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration back in October 2002, was “defective in its condition and unreasonably dangerous with respect to its design, warnings, instructions, and/or indications for use,” the lawsuit reads.

The drug companies are accused of orchestrating a “national awareness campaign and multi-platform media initiative and program to purportedly educate male consumers about the signs and symptoms of ‘Low T,’ and to introduce a ‘cure’ for ‘Low T’ in the form of, among other prescription testosterone-containing preparations, Testim,” according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that the defendants knew a decrease in testosterone levels in men is part of the natural aging process, and that returning testosterone levels to so-called “physiologic levels to treat the contrived and pharmaceutical industry created and driven diagnosis of ‘Low T’ was a recipe for grievous harm in the form of cardiovascular events.”

Just last week, lawyers from Ross Feller Casey filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of an Alabama man who says he suffered a stroke due to his use of Testim.

The firm claims that suit was the first of its kind to have been filed at the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

Like the other suit, the Rios complaint says that a decrease in testosterone levels is a “normal and expected component of the male aging process,” and, despite assertions by the defendants, is not a “syndrome” nor “disease” nor “condition.”

“Increasing testosterone levels via the administration of exogenous testosterone in men who have experienced a physiologic decrease in testosterone levels during the aging process presents unreasonable health hazards, and is manifestly dangerous,” the complaint reads. “Defendants repeatedly and knowingly represented, through deeds, action, and words, including an aggressive and pervasive direct-to-consumer advertising campaign, that low testosterone levels and ‘Low T’ were pathologic entities requiring treatment.”

As a result of his use of Testim, Edwin Rios, the plaintiff, experienced pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, physical debility, mental anguish, fear and fright, embarrassment and humiliation, economic loss, requirement for medical monitoring, and past, present and future medical expenses, the complaint states.

His wife, Eileen, brings a claim for the loss of marital consortium.

The suit contains counts of strict liability, negligence, breach of implied and express warranties, fraud and recklessness, and negligent misrepresentation.

The couple seeks unspecified compensatory damages along with interest, costs and delay damages.

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