September 1998 - Heart Attacks Spawn Four Lawsuits over Viagra, Fifth Cites Eye Damage
Pfizer Inc. is in trouble again. This time the fight is over an anti-impotency drug Viagra. So far five lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs all suffered a heart attack after they took Viagra. Padro et al. v. Pfizer Inc. (NY Sup. Ct., New York Cty., July 16, 1998).
Plaintiffs' attorney Ronald Benjamin filed lawsuits in a Manhattan Supreme Court. This became the first civil action brought against a pharmaceutical company since the highly popular potency pill went on sale in April. More than 30 men have allegedly died after taking it.
The complaints state that Pfizer "knew or should have known ... that Viagra is an unreasonably dangerous product and nevertheless manufactured and placed the drug into the stream of commerce." It further alleges that the company should also have been aware that a significant number of the drug's users were older men who were subject to a risk of serious side effects, including heart attack and death, the complaints allege.
All five lawsuits charge that Pfizer was "grossly negligent and evinced a reckless disregard" for the safety of persons who would be using Viagra by downplaying the serious side effects of its product. "The warning about Viagra to the medical profession is inadequate," Benjamin said.
Diego Padro, 63, brought the first suit on July 16, charging that he suffered a heart attack after taking Viagra for four days. He spent eight days in the hospital. According to his lawyer, Padro had no history of heart disease and had an electrocardiogram showing that his heart was completely healthy only one month before taking the drug.
Padro is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $60 million in exemplary damages. His wife of 33 years, Maria, is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages for the loss of consortium.
Three other New York residents also filed complaints against Pfizer. Robert Selig, 59, Jerald Sossner, 58, and Charles Worrell, 42, alleged that they suffered heart attacks after taking the impotence drug. Each of the three men, along with their wives, seek $85 million in damages.
The most recent suit was filed by Joseph Moran, 53, on July 23. He claimed that he took Viagra and a couple hours later started to see "blue spots" while operating a vehicle. As a result of this vision impairment, Moran drove his car into two parked cars and a tree and sustained serious injuries. Moran is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in exemplary damages.
Pfizer officials stand by their belief that "Viagra is safe since it was extensively studied by Pfizer and subjected to a rigorous review process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of taking any drug or supplement, call Law Offices of Robert Dourian now at 800-790-8856 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to review your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.