Bextra suit filed by Lebanon woman

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 4, 2007, 5:00pm

Pfizer's recalled prescription medication Bextra is the subject of another lawsuit filed in Madison County.

Rita Fohne of Lebanon sued April 2, seeking damages for personal injuries and economic damages she allegedly suffered.

Represented by Robert Rowland and Aaron Dickey of the Goldenberg firm in Edwardsville, Fohne claims she suffered a heart attack and cardiovascular injuries due to clotting or thrombosis, and claims Bextra was the direct and proximate cause.

According to Fohne, she was taking Bextra for at least six months prior to her heart attack.

Like Vioxx and Celebrex, Bextra is a Cox-2 inhibitor and was approved by the FDA on Nov. 16, 2001, for the relief of symptoms of osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis.

On April 7, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Pfizer suspend sales of Bextra in the U.S.

According to the complaint, at the time Bextra was sold to Fohne it was defective in design and unreasonably dangerous, subjecting her to risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses which exceeded the benefits of the product when safer products where available.

She also claims that Pfizer failed to perform adequate testing and study of Bextra prior to marketing it or ignored existing data which would have allegedly shown the drug to possess serious life threatening side effects.

Fohne also claims that the drug did not come with proper warnings regarding adverse side effects associated with its use and the comparative severity and duration of the side effects.

According to the complaint, Pfizer actually knew of the defective nature of its product, yet continued to design, manufacture, market, distribute and sell it to maximize sales and profits at the expense of the general public's health and safety.

Fohne is seeking a judgment against Pfizer in excess of $250,000, costs, attorneys' fees, and other relief that the court deems just and proper.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

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