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Tennessee man awarded millions in drug lawsuit after heart attack

A Tennessee native has just won a federal lawsuit against a defective drug that was improperly marketed -- although its makers have already vowed to appeal the multi-million dollar verdict.

The drug, AndroGel, is a testosterone supplement made by AbbVie, Inc. This case has been watched closely to see how it would turn out, because many similar cases have been filed against other companies that market similar products.

All of the products are considered mild supplements of testosterone. All of them are marketed towards men who are aging as cure-alls that will raise a fading libido, increase vitality, restore natural male strength and so on.

Their detractors say that they are little more than modern-day snake oils marketed toward an aging population with a lot of false claims.

The jury apparently agreed with the plaintiff and other detractors because they ordered the company to pay the plaintiff $140,000 in damages for the heart attack he suffered and his other losses. However, they swatted the drug company with a massive $140 million-dollar punitive verdict.

Punitive verdicts are designed not so much to compensate the victim (although they do go to the defendant) but, instead, are meant to punish the defendant for being negligent and irresponsible. The idea is to make it financially painful for the company to repeat the behavior and to discourage other companies from doing the same.

Drugs like AndroGel were aggressively marketed to physicians by their makers -- who gave no warning that the drugs might pose a risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. The defendant was put on the drug and had his heart attack before the federal government ordered adequate warnings added to the labels to inform both patients and physicians of the dangers.

If you've been the victim of a bad drug that caused you unexpected health complications that you were never warned about, talk to an attorney about your right to be protected against dangerous and defective products.

Source: commercial appeal, "Collierville man awarded $140 million testosterone drug Androgel," Tom Charlier, Oct. 10, 2017

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