How to Maximize Your Financial Compensation
People around the country have begun to file lawsuits claiming that Abilify, the antipsychotic or psychotropic drug manufactured by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. in conjunction with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc. induced them to gamble uncontrollably. People have lost fortunes after Abilify, whose generic name is Aripiprazole, took over their lives and forced them to gamble compulsively. The plaintiffs in the lawsuits claim that Abilify helped them with their underlying psychiatric problems, but they were unaware that the drug could make them throw all of their money away at casinos, through state lotteries, and illegal sports gambling. Given the consequences that ensued, the plaintiffs would have never taken the chance on Abilify and would have taken some other prescription drug to help them with their problems.
Parker Waichman LLP, a national plaintiffs’ law firm, is interested in taking on clients who have experienced adverse side effects that they did not know might occur like compulsive gambling. Our lawyers feel like Otsuka and Bristol-Myers are responsible for the damages that followed from compulsive gambling because these companies failed to tell anyone about these possible side effects. Our clients feel that they are at the mercy of conglomerate drug companies like Otsuka and Bristol-Myers who foist their products on them with the promise of a new life only to find that the medication compounds their problems. Our clients have experienced peace and a sense of justice after vigorously pursuing financial compensation from major pharmaceutical companies who caused them so much pain and suffering.
What is Abilify?
Abilify is a psychotropic or antipsychotic drug. The drug’s manufacturers claim that the medication relieves the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which is sometimes referred to as manic depression. The medicine accomplishes that end by changing the chemical composition in the user’s brain. Doctors may prescribe Abilify to be used with other drugs to combat psychiatric conditions in adults like major depressive disorder. Doctors may prescribe Abilify to treat autistic children and young adults who are suffering from conditions like irritability, aggressive, massive mood swings, and self-injurious behavior.
Abilify comes with a long list of possible side effects and contraindications. The manufacturers list the possible side effects as:
- sudden heart failure or death in patients diagnosed with dementia,
- neurological difficulties such as sore, stiff neck, severe headaches, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and loss of speech, vision, or balance,
- possible drowsiness or sleepiness,
- inability to drive due to impairment of judgment,
- extreme dehydration,
- nausea and vomiting,
- trouble swallowing,
- gaining weight,
- restless legs while trying to sleep,
- suicidal ideations, and severe, sudden mood swings.
The reader will quickly notice that compulsive gambling does not appear on this extensive list. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits recently filed suggest that Abilify’s manufacturers should have included compulsive gambling as a possible side effect. Instead, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb rely on some vague, non-committal language describing the behavior as mood swings and impaired judgment. The drug’s manufacturers also suggest that driving a motor vehicle might be difficult or impossible depending on how Abilify interacts with the person using it. The omission about compulsive gambling is glaring.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Abilify and has not issued warnings regarding a possible recall or the necessity to include compulsive gambling as a “boxed warning.” The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is the European equivalent of the FDA, takes a different approach to Abilify than the FDA. The EMA requires the packaging for Abilify to include a warning about “Pathological Gambling.” The EMA concluded in studies conducted after it approved Abilify for sale that Abilify users could develop a compulsive gambling problem while taking the drug even if the person never had a gambling problem.
The EMA requires Abilify’s marketing materials to reference “undesirable effects” in addition to compulsive gambling such as nervousness, agitation, suicidal ideations, suicidal attempts, and successful suicides. The Canadian medicine regulatory body agrees with the EMA. As a result, Abilify sold in Canada must contain a warning about compulsive gambling.
Even if the FDA disagrees with the stance of its colleagues in other parts of the world, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc. are on notice from as long ago as 2011 of the connection between taking Abilify and dangerous gambling behaviors because of the labeling requirements for the drug in Europe and Canada. Still, the companies failed to include that warning on its U.S. product voluntarily.
Their omission clearly signifies that Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc. have little concern for the U.S. consumer of their product. If the compulsive gambling warning appeared on U.S. labels, then they might lose money because people may be dissuaded to take the drug for fear over “losing their shirts” in a casino. Bristol-Myers Squibb is not in danger of losing its proverbial shirt anytime soon. The company has a huge market share and touts Abilify as one of its top-selling products.
Injuries Caused by Abilify
The lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs and their families lost tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars due to gambling problems Abilify users developed while taking the drug. The money the victims spent gambling was their nest eggs, college funds for their children, inheritances from their parents, or even the equity in their homes. The victims could not help themselves. In essence, Abilify may have helped the plaintiffs control their psychotic disorder by creating another equally pernicious and insidious mental health problem.
Since 1980, psychiatrists have recognized pathological gambling as a major psychiatric disorder. Now, psychiatric experts classify gambling disorder as falling into the category of mental health problems controlled by dopamine in the brain. Gambling is an addiction, like taking drugs, because the brain wants to feel the pleasure created by dopamine. Abilify enhances the dopamine effect in a person and the need to feel that rush created by dopamine in the brain. The need to feel that rush creates compulsive behavior.
Do I have Grounds to File an Abilify Lawsuit?
Our attorneys will thoroughly examine your case to determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit. As a general rule, you have a viable legal claim and can file a lawsuit when you suffer an injury because of another’s conduct. Abilify consumers have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for monetary losses owning to compulsive gambling. Pecuniary loss is one type of legal damage which a person might claim. You might be able to claim other damages depending on your particular situation in addition to a monetary loss.
The success of your Abilify lawsuit hinges on proving a connection between your loss and the conduct of Abilify’s manufacturers. In the current Abilify lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege that Otuska and Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to warn about the possible negative consequences from using Abilify. The failure to warn is one theory of products liability and is used frequently in claims arising out of unexpected side effects experienced by victims after taking medication or using a medical device. Plaintiffs can also claim that the manufacturer is liable for injuries for a design defect, meaning every component made is faulty. A related claim is a manufacturing defect. Manufacturing defects involve a small portion of all of the product produced. Usually, manufacturing defects can be limited to one or several lots of a product rather than the entire line of a particular product.
How Much is Your Abilify Case Worth?
Your Parker Waichman Abilify lawsuit attorney will help you ascertain the economic value of your claim. Our lawyers have vast experience examining our clients’ situations and coming up with a dollar amount that represents what justice means to our client.
Sometimes when people first come to visit us, they have heard about a settlement or judgment and understandably believe they should get the same amount of money for their claim. Determining the value of a claim is much more nuanced than that. It is important to realize that every case is different. The facts and circumstances of our clients’ claims dictate the amount of money they might recover.
Injury cases are not like contract claims where the loss is known right from the start. We examine not only actual losses like medical bills and lost wages, but we dig deeper to place a value on how your life was altered and diminished due to the defendant’s conduct. That is where the value of a case lies, and our lawyers excel in convincing jurors and insurance companies that our clients are worthy of higher compensation.
The Steps to Take to File an Abilify Lawsuit
Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER to make an appointment with one of our Abilify lawyers. We will thoroughly examine your case and start the claims process immediately. Our lawyers and expert staff will gather all of the information we need from you and then start working on finding evidence to support your claim. We will obtain your medical records and payment information. Also, we will reach out to our network of expert witnesses who are the tops in their field and begin working with them to show how Abilify negatively affected your life and why Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb are responsible.
We will handle your case diligently, with the care and compassion you and your family deserve. You and your family are more than the next client to us; you are family, and we treat you that way.
Abilify lawsuits are complicated matters. Despite the complexity, we will not ask you for any money up front nor will we charge you an hourly fee. Our contingency fee agreements allow us to advance all of the costs of the litigation, which might be tens of thousands of dollars, so you do not need to scrape together money to fight for justice. We will recoup that money if we have successfully litigated your Abilify claim. Our fee will come from the settlement as well. We will not charge you hourly.
The Time to File is Limited
The statute of limitations in your state caps the amount of time you have to file an Abilify lawsuit. You must not miss this deadline. Missing the deadline to file a case in court means that you will lose your opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries. Any delay in contacting our firm could be disastrous. Call us today. Our Abilify lawyers will quickly and accurately determine when your case must be filed and vigorously pursue justice on your behalf.
Parker Waichman LLP is the Right Choice for You
We are proud to say that our peers recognize the success. They have bestowed on us several awards and legal accolades which acknowledge our dedication to our mission: helping you find justice for your injuries. We appreciate that recognition, but we are delighted that our success has translated into recovering over $2 billion for our clients. Why would you trust another firm with your valuable rights?
Call Now to Preserve Your Rights
Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER to schedule a no-obligation meeting with our Abilify lawsuit lawyers. Our Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuit attorneys are available 24/7 to speak with you about your claim. Remember that the time to file a case is limited so call today and begin your road to receiving justice for your Abilify claim.
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