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Plaintiff Brings Lipitor Lawsuit, Alleges Statin Caused Diabetes

 In September 2013, the FDA updated their advice on the statin class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, stating that “People being treated with statins may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes.” They added that there is still life-saving value in prescribing the drugs, but doctors should implement a blood sugar monitoring regimen after statin therapy is instated.

The FDA announcement has led to a number of products liability lawsuits, including this most recent suit. Plaintiff Karen A. Henning filed a Lipitor lawsuit seeking $75,000 in damages in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, just two days before Christmas. The Lake Elmo, Minnesota woman alleges that her use of the popular statin manufactured by Pfizer Inc. caused her to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Statins increase risk of diabetes, according to studies

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School studied 154,000 women for seven years and found that women on statins like Lipitor, Pravachol and Zocor were almost 50% more likely to report developing Type 2 diabetes than women who were not taking statins. This finding came after taking into account factors such as: age, obesity, lack of physical activity and other diabetes risk factors.

A previous analysis of 13 studies published in February 2010 reported a 9% increased risk for Type 2 diabetes among statin users. Another report published in June 2011 found a similar finding, adding that the risk increased along with the dosage.

These findings led the FDA to update their advice on statins. Unfortunately, Lipitor has been FDA-approved since 1996; so many women who developed diabetes may have been injured in the process.

Lipitor lawsuit filed in light of this new information

According to the latest Lipitor lawsuit, the plaintiff was prescribed Lipitor from July 2002 through December 2006 to lower her levels of elevated triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein. Prior to taking the drug, Ms. Henning was otherwise healthy and leading a proactive lifestyle to reduce her risk of developing heart disease. In addition to taking Lipitor, she also took Zocor (simvastatin) from December 2006 through June 2012.

Karen Henning was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in November 2008. As a result, the plaintiff must undergo regular blood glucose testing, adhere to a restrictive diet and take medication to control her diabetes. She is now at an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy and kidney disease, says her Lipitor lawyer. Had she known the risks associated with the product, she would have at least monitored her blood glucose levels to see if the drug was adversely affecting her metabolism.

Her Lipitor lawsuit includes seven separate causes of action, including:

  • Product liability / Failure to warn
  • Negligence
  • Product liability / Breach of implied warranty
  • Fraud
  • Constructive fraud
  • Unjust enrichment
  • Punitive damages

A Lipitor lawyer may be helpful as cases move forward

People who have filed a Lipitor lawsuit may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost earning potential and emotional suffering, should the courts find that Pfizer is legally responsible for failing to warn patients of the risks associated with their drug.

A claimant’s motion to consolidate Lipitor lawsuits into multidistrict litigation was denied by a federal judge panel in August 2013. However, a second petition was filed on behalf of more than 100 plaintiffs in October.