California woman files HRT suit in Marshall

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 10, 2008, 3:18pm

MARSHALL � California resident Canstanza Raspa alleges her development of breast cancer, resulting surgery and mastectomy are the result of 10 years of hormone replacement therapy.

Raspa filed a product liability suit against hormone replacement manufacturers Wyeth, Pfizer, Pharmacia and Upjohn Inc. on Sept 3, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The lawsuit will be transferred to the pending multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Arkansas for discovery and pretrial proceedings (In re Prempro MDL 1507).

The drugs' manufacturers are involved in thousands of lawsuits regarding hormone replacement drugs, which are marketed to women going through menopause. The companies deny all negligent claims and continuously argue that since first marketing the drugs, they carried warning labels regarding the heightened risk of breast cancer.

The hormone replacement drugs remain FDA-approved for treatment of menopause and post menopausal osteoporosis.

Since the drug was first approved in 1942, the complaint argues the defendants' vigorously and aggressively marketed the drug through actions that included sponsoring medical journal articles, hiring experts to speak to physicians and direct advertisements to consumers and physicians.

The complaint asserts the defendants are liable for claims of fraudulent concealment, negligence, strict products liability, defective marketing, in adequate warnings, negligent misrepresentations, fraud, and breach of express warranty.

The plaintiff claims that the hormone replacement therapy drugs "pose substantial health risk with little or no corresponding benefit.

"These risks include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thromboembolism, pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder cancer and auto-immune disease."

Raspa also asserts that the drugs' labels and warnings were "inadequate, misleading, and inaccurate."

"Defendant minimized the risks of these drugs to the prescribing physicians and ultimate users while simultaneously exaggerating the purported benefits," the petition states.

With regard to the fraudulent concealment claim, the plaintiff argues that she has been "misled and denied access to vital information essential to the pursuit of these claims without any fault or lace of diligence on her part."

The plaintiff argues the defendants were negligent and "should have known that their hormone therapy drugs created an unreasonably risk of harm for those who used the drugs." But instead, the plaintiff contends that the defendants "downplayed, understated, and disregarded their knowledge of the serious and permanent side effects."

Further, the complaint states that the drug manufacturers failed to use due care in preparation, design, development, manufacture, inspection, labeling, marketing, promotion, and selling of the hormone replacement therapy drugs.

In addition, the suit states that the defendants were negligent for failing to conduct adequate pre-clinical testing and research, failing to conduct adequate post-marketing surveillance and failing to provide adequate training and information to healthcare providers.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, mental anguish, medical monitoring, medical expenses, physical impairment, loss of wage earning capacity, and loss and impairment of spouse's services, society, and consortium.

Dallas attorneys Thomas M. Corea and Jeremy R. Wilson of The Corea Firm PLLC will represent the plaintiff.

Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 2:08cv00335

More News