Zocor Muscle Injury Lawsuit Dismissed in Texas
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a Zocor muscle injury lawsuit brought by a 65-year-old Texas man. The opinion, which was issued on March 9, 2011, affirmed a lower-court ruling that Charles Thurston, of Porter, Texas, had failed to state an adequate Zocor side effects claim against the drug manufacturer Merck & Company, Inc.
Thurston, who represented himself in the proceedings, alleged that he developed a muscle injury (myopathy) after taking the drug and that he would not have used the cholesterol-lowering medication had he been adequately warned of Zocor side effects, which include not only Zocor myopathy, but cognitive impairment, and Zocor rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition that can cause kidney failure.
Motion to dismiss Zocor muscle injury suit filed by Merck
Merck moved to dismiss Thurston’s Zocor lawsuit complaint in November of 2009. The company argued that its label warnings for Zocor side effects were presumed adequate under Texas state law, and that Mr. Thurston had not alleged any facts sufficient to overcome the presumption.
Texas law provides that FDA-approved drug labels are presumed adequate and can be challenged only if the plaintiff shows that certain listed exceptions — in this case, regarding Zocor myopathy — apply.
Extension granted for Zocor lawsuit plaintiff to respond
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted Thurston an extension of time to respond to Merck’s motion, which he ultimately failed to do. Instead, he reportedly sent a letter to the court explaining that he was undergoing further medical testing to determine the extent of his Zocor myopathy.
The District Court dismissed his complaint on May 26, 2010.
In affirming the dismissal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that Thurston had ample time to respond to the motion, and that even if he could show evidence of a Zocor myopathy, doing so would not affect the warning label’s presumption of adequacy under Texas law.
Zocor lawsuit plaintiffs grow nationwide
Patients who have developed serious Zocor side effects, including myopathy, Zocor rhabdomyolysis, or Zocor diabetes, have consulted a Zocor lawyer to determine if they might be eligible to seek monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, loss of income, diminished quality of life, and all past and future medical costs.