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Latest Avandia Lawsuit Involving Wrongful Death Filed in Texas

Limitations placed on the use of the active ingredient of Avandia (rosiglitazone) by the FDA last fall lead to a number of product liability and wrongful death lawsuits being filed against the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The latest in these wrongful death lawsuits was recently filed in Texas.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate of Texan James Michael Knight. According to a complaint filed in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, Knight began taking Avandia in April 2005. He suffered a fatal heart attack four years later, on April 13, 2009, allegedly due to Avandia.

Avandia was created by pharmaceutical giant GSK in 1999 to treat Type 2 diabetes. The drug was widely prescribed, netting GSK almost $3 billion in 2006. A study released in 2007 found that patients taking Avandia had an increased risk of heart attack and severe side effects. Despite the study, GSK kept Avandia on the market until the FDA stepped in last year.

According to the complaint, GSK knew the dangerous drug could "cause serious adverse health effects" but did not adequately warn patients of the risks. Documents filed with the court also accuse GSK of negligence and strict products liability for:

  • Improper testing of Avandia
  • Failure to use a safe design
  • Failure to manufacture Avandia in a safe condition
  • Failure to properly label Avandia

Damages being sought in the case include wrongful death damages, survivor damages and exemplary damages.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Gilmer family files wrongful death lawsuit against maker of Avandia," 4/26/11.

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