As a former college football player, I’m no stranger to the lure of performance-enhancing products. When I was in high school, the big rage was creatine. For years, it would’ve been blasphemy for me to conclude a weight training session without a shake containing at least 40 grams of whey protein.
Creatine and protein products, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Since the early 2000s, pharmaceutical companies have convinced the middle-aged American male that he needs a testosterone boost. In essence, these drug companies tout that replacement of testosterone lost during the course of normal male aging is the equivalent of Ponce De Leon’s fountain of youth. Unfortunately, some experts believe the features and benefits promoted in this marketing campaign actually lack the proven benefits espoused. Instead, there is strong evidence of serious health risks from using these testosterone drugs.
Recently, a jury has awarded a man in his 50s over $140 million in a product liability lawsuit filed after the popular testosterone replacement therapy drug, AndroGel, caused him to have a massive heart attack (see http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/10/10/collierville-man-140-million-lawsuit-testosterone-drug-androgel/749267001/).
In this case, the plaintiff, who was 50 at the time, was prescribed AndroGel by his doctor. He had a heart attack two months later. While he did recover from his injuries, he said that his quality of life has never been the same following his heart attack. Of note, it was not the prescribing doctor who was found liable; it was the drug company. As our Riverview testosterone injury lawyers can explain, the reason the drug company that produces Androgel was found liable was because it failed to disclose the risks of taking testosterone replacement therapy drugs to doctors who were actually prescribing the drug. The Androgel maker also failed to adequately test the drug prior to putting on it market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now required the makers of testosterone replacement hormone to list the higher risk of stroke and heart attack on marketing materials and monographs supplied with the prescriptions.
The reason for the eye-popping $140 million dollar award is because the jury chose to award punitive damages. “Punitive” damages are quite rare and are reserved for cases where the defendant (the drug company in this case) has exhibited particularly bad behavior. Here, it was the company’s failure to disclose known hidden dangers that gave rise to the punitive damages. In other words, the jury found the drug company was well aware of the risk of heart disease and stroke from taking Androgel, but were not disclosing these risks because of fear that it would hurt sales. This testosterone replacement company knowingly putting patients at risk to make more money. Additionally, it was asserted by the victim that Androgel’s manufacturer did not conduct adequate testing. If a company has reason to know of a potential danger, but decides not to do the testing so they do not have to disclose the results, this willful blindness is likewise unacceptable in the eyes of the law.
If you’ve ever seen the George Clooney film, Michael Clayton, a film about a products liability lawsuit, it will give you a good idea of the story here (minus the paid-for-hire murderers in the film). If you or a loved one have questions regarding a testosterone injury case or other defective product that has caused injury in Florida or New Jersey, see below:
Call your Tampa testosterone injury lawyers at Santini Law, PLLC for a free and confidential appointment — 813-445-6121
Call your New Jersey testosterone injury lawyers at Santini Law, PLLC’s satellite office at 908-329-2003
Not in Florida or New Jersey? Call 888-645-3055