Wrongful death lawsuit against manufacturers of arrhythmia drug Amiodarone can move forward, Wisconsin judge rules

by Eric Pearson

A Wisconsin federal judge has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of a patient who died after taking the arrhythmia drug Amiodarone will be allowed to move forward. Zydus Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of the drug, had tried to have the case thrown out on the grounds that it was pre-empted by federal law.

Amiodarone is used to treat patients with an irregular heartbeat, including those with ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF), wide complex tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. The drug is sold under the brand names Cordarone, Nexterone, and Pacerone.

A lawsuit filed against Zydus and Wyeth alleged that patient Shirley Jones died after taking Amiodarone to treat an irregular heartbeat. After being prescribed a 90-day course of 200 milligrams of Amiodarone, Jones began experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, and other symptoms. She visited her doctor in order to undergo tests for pulmonary toxicity, which the doctor told her were negative. After Jones’ death, the family learned that the test results were read incorrectly, and that Amiodarone may have played a role in her death.

Jones’ family filed a lawsuit against the two drugmakers alleging that the companies were negligent for failing to provide her with a medication guide to warn about the potential side effects of Amiodarone. Zydus and Wyeth filed a motion stating that the family’s lawsuit should be thrown out because its allegations were preempted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Judge Barbara Crabb denied the two drug companies’ motion to dismiss, stating that the family’s claims were not pre-empted.

Personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Zydus and Wyeth on behalf of patients who were seriously or fatally injured after taking Amiodarone. A class action lawsuit was also filed against Wyeth and other companies that manufactured Amiodarone. The class action case alleges that these drugmakers illegally promoted Amiodarone for off label uses that had not been approved by the FDA.

Injured by Dangerous Drugs? You Have Legal Rights.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of complications from a prescription medication or other medical products, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of these medications. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with a law firm whose attorneys are experienced in pharmaceutical litigation to find out whether you qualify to file a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented hundreds of individuals who have been injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, or other dangerous consumer products. Our attorneys have based their careers on the idea that manufacturers of defective drugs and medical devices should be held responsible for the injuries caused by their products.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and achieved settlements in hundreds more on behalf of our clients. Our law firm has collected more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements over the last several years in cases relating to defective pharmaceutical products.

For a free legal consultation about your case and to determine whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.