47 claimants from across country file suit over Ketek in St. Clair County

Ann Knef Nov. 27, 2007, 5:00am

Sanofi-Aventis U.S. is being sued by consumers of Ketek -- an antibiotic used to treat sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia -- by 47 plaintiffs from around the country in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Represented by Christopher Cueto of Belleville and John J. Driscoll of Brown & Crouppen in St. Louis, the complaint filed Nov. 15 seeks damages for personal and economic injuries. Plaintiffs claim that Sanofi-Aventis U.S., a subsidiary of the French pharmaceutical, knew there was an increased risk of Ketek consumers suffering injuries or death from liver failure and hepatics injury.

The complaint alleges that Ketek is a defective and dangerous pharmaceutical product.

Four of the 47 plaintiffs reside in Illinois. Among those who are local, Dorothy Ray resides in Swansea and Cynthia Hamilton resides in Alton.

Other plaintiffs are from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia, Utah, Maine, Delaware, Iowa, Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and New Jersey.

Among other things, plaintiffs claim the defendant violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA).

"In violation of the NJCFA, Defendant engaged in deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of material facts regarding the risks of harm associates with the use of Ketek...," the complaint states.

The suit claims that Sanofi-Aventis intentionally concealed from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) results of a study which showed serious harm associated with the use of Ketek.

According to FDA News, the agency sent the pharmaceutical a warning letter citing Sanofi-Aventis for failing to respond to reports of problems with a Ketek clinical trial.

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