March 18, 2003 - Bayer Victorious in First Baycol Trial
In the first trial involving the withdrawn cholesterol medication Baycol, a Corpus Christi, Texas jury found Bayer Corporation not liable. The suit, filed by 82-year-old Hollis Haltom, was seeking $560 million in damages. During the trial, plaintiff attorneys argued that Baycol caused Haltom to develop a muscle-wasting disease known as rhabdomyolysis and that Bayer officials failed to properly warn physicians about the drug's side effects. Attorneys produced e-mails and company documents that indicated Bayer executives continued to heavily market Baycol even though they knew of its health risks.
A Bayer spokesperson stated that the outcome of the trial validates "Bayer's assertion that the company acted responsibly in the development, marketing and withdrawal of Baycol." Bayer has admitted the link between Baycol and rhabdomyolysis. Nearly 8,000 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer over the controversial medication. The company has paid $125 million to settle about 450 cases.