Florida Resident Joins Alabama Chantix MDL

Emma Gonzalez | September 26th, 2012

On July 27, 2012, Florida resident Paul Gentile adopted the master short form complaint to join Chantix multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The MDL litigates cases of Chantix serious injury, including depression, suicide ideation, and attempted suicide. According to his Chantix lawyer, Gentile meets the MDL requirements of venue and case allegations.

Drug affects brain chemistry, causes Chantix serious injury

Chantix, or varenicline, first received FDA approval in 2006. The drug was marketed as a smoking cessation product, in other words, a drug to help smokers kick their habit. However, Chantix works by binding to the brain’s nicotine receptors and alters the body’s natural mix of dopamine, in effect changing brain chemistry. Scientists postulate that these actions are responsible for the serious side effects associated with the drug, including aggressive behavior, mood swings, and blackouts, as well as Gentile’s alleged symptoms of depression and attempted suicide.

Chantix depression and suicidal thoughts happen quickly

Chantix depression and suicide ideation are often considered the most difficult side effects to treat. Often, onset of either symptom is quick, and can occur in patients with no history of mental illness. Since the drug’s approval in 2006, hundreds of patients have reported these side effects to the FDA, and in one 18-month period alone, the federal agency received almost 300 reports of suicide and depression incidents related to the drug and its generic counterpart, varenicline.

In July 2009, the FDA ordered Pfizer to include a black box warning regarding depression and suicidal thoughts on the Chantix label. Nevertheless, hundreds of people suffered Chantix serious injury before that time, and many have gone on to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Chantix lawyer adopts twelve counts against Pfizer

According to his master short form complaint, Gentile began taking Chantix as prescribed and indicated on May 8, 2007. The smoking cessation drug allegedly caused him serious injuries, including depression and attempted suicide.

In accordance with MDL No. 2092, also known as the Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation, Gentile’s Chantix lawyer filed the short form complaint, adopting counts of negligence, design defect, failure to warn, breach of warranties, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, gross negligence, unjust enrichment, punitive damages, and violations of state consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices acts.

Chantix settlement amounts

It is unknown whether all MDL plaintiffs will go to trial, of if some cases will end with Pfizer doling out Chantix settlement amounts.