Andrea Dearden Jul. 8, 2013, 7:45am

A St. Clair County man has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of a diabetes drug he claims caused his father heart and cardiovascular problems that prematurely ended his life.

Terrence Williams, as independent administrator of the estate of Monte C. Williams, and Mary Hamilton Jones filed the complaint against SmithKline Beacham, doing business as GlaxoSmithKline, on June 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Terrence Williams says his father, Monte Williams, was prescribed the drug Avandia to treat diabetes mellitus. The medication, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is designed to reduce the complications of diabetes, the most common of which is heart disease, according to the complaint. Jones, a Pennsylvania resident, says she also took Avandia at the advice of her doctor to treat Type 2 diabetes.

GlaxoSmithKline began marketing the Type 2 diabetes medication under the name Avandia in 1999 after receiving approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, the petition reads. The plaintiffs claim GlaxoSmithKline knew the consumption of Avandia increased the risk of heart problems, including heart attacks and congestive heart failure but did not warn its patients. They allege the company's own tests, performed in 2005, showed this to be true yet GlaxoSmithKline did not put a warning label on Avandia until 2007.

Williams says Avandia "significantly contributed to negative and detrimental effects" to his late father's heart and cardiovascular system. Jones says her health was negatively affected in the same way.

Williams and Jones accuse GlaxoSmithKline of product liability. They are asking to be awarded more than $100,000 in damages plus court costs.

Attorneys Christopher Cueto and Michael Gras of Belleville and Robert L. Salim of Natchitoches, La. represent them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-285

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