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|Pfizer's Request Denied by Federal Judge in Chantix Lawsuit|
- Thursday, 25 October 2012 03:00
Pfizer's Request Denied by Federal Judge in Chantix Lawsuit
By Andrea Gressman
Pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc., made a request to postpone next week's Chantix lawsuit trial by three months. However, the request was denied by an Alabama federal judge. The Chantix lawsuit deals with claims that Chantix, a drug used to help curb the smoking habit, led a man to commit suicide.
Judge Inge Johnson of the United States District Court stated in the ruling that such a postponement is inappropriate and there is no need or cause for a three-month delay given the nature of the Chantix suicide lawsuit.
Pfizer's Request to Postpone the Chantix Lawsuit Followed a New Clinical Study
Out of over 2,600 Chantix lawsuits set for trial, this particular one is scheduled to begin in Florence, Alabama on Monday, October 22, 2012. Smokers or their families filed Chantix lawsuits claiming Chantix was responsible for suicide attempts, suicides, or other psychological side effects.
Pfizer says the Chantix lawsuits' claims are untrue and has stood its ground on the effectiveness of Chantix to help smokers curb their habit. Pfizer’s Chantix attorneys requested that Johnson delay Judy Ann Whitely's trial regarding the Chantix lawsuit she filed until January 22. The Duluth, Minnesota resident filed the Chantix lawsuit following her husband's suicide. She claimed that less than two weeks after taking Chantix, he committed suicide.
It was in light of a new clinical study regarding Chantix safety in smokers diagnosed with major depression that Pfizer put in a motion to allow both parties to take the new data on Chantix into consideration.
The European Medicines Agency requested the clinical study be conducted, as stated in the motion filed by Pfizer. They went on to state that the results of the trial affect a number of items in the whole Chantix lawsuit -- the claims of punitive damages and medical causes of the plaintiff, and that any findings should be included in the section of scientific record in the Chantix lawsuit of the first bellwether case.
Among the 2,600 lawsuits already filed, the first bellwether Chantix lawsuit selected was that of Judy Ann Whitely and therefore this particular Chantix lawsuit is going to lay the foundation of many more Chantix lawsuits to come.
It seems now that the trial will not be delayed despite new evidence on Chantix. Because of this, the Chantix lawsuit will be based on an incomplete record of science, according to Pfizer’s Chantix lawyers.
Federal Judge Dismisses Pfizer’s Request in Chantix Lawsuit
In its motion, Pfizer argued that if the judge disagreed with a postponement of trial, the company requested a delay of the Whitely trial until a ruling is made by Atlanta's United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals which would allow the subpoena of employees and the Pfizer's CEO. In an abrupt, concise, to-the-point 8-page statement, Johnson disagreed with Pfizer. The filing was made shortly before 5 PM on October 16, 2012.
According to the Chantix lawsuit judge, there is no need to suddenly halt the judicial process because of worries by the defendant that science is lagging behind the Chantix lawsuit litigation. The judge went on to state that since 2009, Chantix lawsuits have been pending. More disturbing is that some studies will not be completed until 2017. The court will not delay or put off Chantix lawsuits that have been pending for two or three years for an additional five years, just so more studies can be completed. The judge also noted the court and jury would suffer great inconveniences.
The judge went on to note that the current Chantix lawsuit has been pending for over a year, the entire docket of the undersigned has been arranged around the trial. There has been rearrangement of resources by personnel to devote everything to this trial. There have been over 90 potential jurors who went out of their way to attend the court and even devoted their time in completing the jury questionnaire, and received compensation from the court for doing so. Add to that, about 60 or so jurors who have received notification to go to the Florence, Alabama courthouse. With all the resources, time, energy, and manpower devoted to the Chantix lawsuit, it would make very little sense and be a major inconvenience to delay the Chantix lawsuit trial any further for any significant amount of time. It was noted that upon denial of their request, Pfizer officials are researching their legal options.
Pfizer Issues Statement Regarding Judge’s Decision in Chantix Lawsuit
A Pfizer statement says the company is in agreement that the results of the new study should be included as evidence in the Whitely case. Pfizer now believes that a reevaluation of causation concerning the plaintiff's claims is necessary before a jury hears them. This is coming off the heels of the discovery of recently published scientific evidence. The company claims the data was disclosed in a timely manner, with regulators having access to them. They reiterated that they are looking over their legal options.
If you or a loved one has faced one of the many Chantix side effects including suicidal thoughts, violent thoughts, heart attack, or attempted suicide please visit the Chantix Suicide, Heart Attack, Suicide Attempt & Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Investigation page right away. A Chantix class action lawsuit lawyer will provide you with a free consultation.
Updated October 25th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09