The lawsuit former University of Southern Mississippi football running back Derrick Nix filed against three pharmaceutical companies has been moved to U.S. District Court.
Nix, who is scheduled to get a kidney today from his brother, filed the lawsuit in Forrest County Circuit Court April 2 against Pharmacia Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co.
Nix, 22, claims the anti-inflammatory drugs Celebrex and Vioxx, which he was prescribed after sustaining an ankle injury in September 2000, caused his degenerative kidney disease.
The case may be returned to Forrest County Circuit Court. Nix’s attorneys have filed a motion asking that the state court handle the lawsuit.
The case was moved to the federal court at the request of the drug companies. In their notice of removal, the drug companies noted that other similar product liability actions are handled in the federal arena.
The lawsuit claims that Nix suffered kidney failure as a direct result of his use of Celebrex and/or Vioxx and his future as a professional athlete has been severely compromised.
The lawsuit represents only one side of the issue.
Nix, an Attala, Ala., native, injured his ankle during a Sept. 30, 2000, USM football game against the University of Memphis. The lawsuit states that doctors prescribed both the drugs after the injury and Nix then began having kidney problems.