Plaintiffs File Chantix Suicide Lawsuit on Behalf of Decedent

Shay Morrigan | April 23rd, 2012

Plaintiffs Jayne and Rickey Lee Graham, represented by their Chantix lawyer, filed a new Chantix suicide lawsuit on March 20, 2012, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina. The decedent in the case, Jeremy Graham, allegedly suffered severe psychological Chantix side effects after taking the drug to quit smoking. He eventually took his own life as a result.

The case was transferred to the current Chantix MDL in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama on April 13, 2012. There it will join many other lawsuits filed by a Chantix lawyer currently involved in pretrial processes.

Chantix lawyer claims defective product

According to the docket in this case, Jeremy Graham was originally prescribed Chantix to help him stop smoking. After he started taking it, he suffered from Chantix side effects including manic, aggressive, and violent behavior. He eventually suffered a psychotic disorder, resulting in suicide.

The plaintiffs claim that Chantix was defectively formulated, and blame manufacturer Pfizer for failing to warn of the serious risks of Chantix side effects. Together with their Chantix lawyer, they are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Chantix side effects at issue in MDL

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal cases claiming injuries from the drug to one court in October 2010. Plaintiffs involved in these cases typically blame Pfizer for injuries like suicide, aggressive behavior, Chantix depression, and Chantix heart problems.

The FDA approved Chantix for use as a smoking-cessation aid in 2006. By 2007, the agency had already received reports of serious Chantix side effects, and in February 2008, they issued a public health advisory warning of the association between the drug and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. In 2009, Pfizer was required to add a black box warning to the label concerning the risks of such side effects.

Bellwether trials will examine Chantix suicide

On March 16, 2012, MDL Judge Inge P. Johnson scheduled Chantix bellwether trials for October 22, 2012 and January 22, 2013. Both of these cases involve claims similar to those of the Graham’s—wrongful death as a result of Chantix suicide. The result of these first two cases will provide some insight into how Pfizer may choose to handle any potential Chantix settlements in the future.

Thousands of Chantix side effects lawsuits are involved in the MDL, with some claiming injuries from Chantix heart problems as well as psychiatric side effects.