Three people who said the antipsychotic drug Abilify caused them to engage in compulsive gambling have reached a settlement for undisclosed amounts. The cases were considered to be bellwether, multidistrict litigation, and scheduled for trial in June. The District Court has ordered the defendants, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., to pay the claimant’s within 30 days. In turn, the Plaintiffs must execute a full release which will result in a dismissal of the case trial.
As of April 16, 2018, there were 808 cases against Abilify. The defendants in all cases are the Japanese drug maker Otsuka and drug marketer Bristol-Myers Squibb. The Abilify lawsuit is considered to be multidistrict litigation; a term used by Federal Courts when there are large amounts of similar cases in multiple areas. The first trials of these cases are typically considered to be bellwethers – as was in the case with the 3 Florida cases that settled. Bellwether cases are intended to help all remaining parties to gain a better understanding of how their own lawsuit will resolve itself. It can also act as a guide in any potential settlement negotiations. If all 808, and counting, cases reach a settlement against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., there is a chance that one or both companies could payout millions in damages.
A New Claim is Filed
In late April, plaintiff Patricia B. also from Florida, file a new lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. She claims that her 11 years of Abilify use (2007-2018) was a direct cause of her developing a gambling disorder. She says that compulsive gambling was never an issue in her life until she began to take Abilify. Her gambling problem and other destructive habits resulted from uncontrollable compulsions; a side effect of the drug.
According to her short form complaint, filed by her Abilify lawyer, Patricia’s gambling disorder led to extreme financial loss, physical pain, and suffering. She claims the drug caused her be unable to enjoy life and was a direct source of depression, stress, and other psychological issues.
Patricia is not the first claimant to allege the connection between taking Abilify and developing uncontrollable urges such as the need to gamble, engage in sexual activity, shop, and so forth. Her lawsuit has been filed with the other 808 plaintiffs of the Multidistrict Abilify Product Liability Litigation (MDL) No. 2734. Patricia’s long form complaint brings counts forward such as strict liability, breach of express warranty, negligence, fraudulent concealment, punitive damages, and more. She seeks compensatory damages exceeding $75,000 and claims, through her Abilify lawyer, that these types of losses may continue indefinitely.
What is Abilify?
Introduced to the U.S. market in 2002, Abilify quickly became one of the most popular drugs, generating almost $8 billion a year up until 2013. In 2015, sales began to fall after generic versions of Abilify were approved.
The drug Abilify, or aripiprazole, is an antipsychotic medication used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression. It may also be prescribed for aggression, mood swings,dementia, and other moderate to severe behavioral issues. Abilify has been linked to compulsive side effects including the urge to gamble, shop, or engage in sexual activity. A warning label was added to Abilify in 2016.
One week after the settlement was reached, the plaintiffs secured documents, via a court order, from the drugmaker Otsuka. These were regarding another drug called Rexulti, which was introduced after the Abilify patent expired. Plaintiffs are alleging that Rexulti had the same side effects, but no warning was given until January, 2018.
Do You Think You Have A Legal Claim Against Abilify Use and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.? Call The Higgins Firm NOW.