Laxative maker wants to be excused

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 25, 2004, 2:40pm

Laxative makers will be in court Nov. 5 on a motion for dismissal and approval of compromise before Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

Madison County plaintiff Karen Graham filed a class action suit Jan. 18, 2000, Graham v. Schering Plough , alleging that companies who make over-the-counter stimulant laxatives such as Ex-Lax amd Correctol use a chemical stimulant to create consumer dependence.

Graham, who is seeking up to $75,000, alleges defendants withheld information regarding dangerous ill-health effects and potential for dependence and depletion of vitamins and minerals through laxative use.

In her complaint, Graham also alleges that marketing strategies of over-the-counter stimulant laxative companies were deceptive because consumers were duped by the defendants' marketing claims.

Graham, represented by Korein Tillery of St Louis, alleges the defendants were aware of the ill effects of laxative dependency.

According to the conplaint, potential health problems from the use of laxatives include bowel impaction, rectal bleeding, melanosis coli, smooth muscle atrophy and cathartic colon. Dehydration which can lead to cardiac problems, retention of sodium and severe potassium loss are other problems linked to excessive use of laxatives.

Check next week’s MCR update section for the decision on the motion.

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