Woman refiles HRT claim in Texas

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau May 11, 2010, 4:45pm

An East Texas woman, who claims her consumption of Premphase, a hormone replacement drug, caused her breast cancer, has filed a second lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer.

Ellen O'Brien was dismissed from a multi-plaintiff lawsuit against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals on March 31 after U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson Jr. of Arkansas ordered each of the plaintiffs to file new, individual complaints in a proper venue.

Judge Wilson ruled that multi-plaintiff cases violated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as his orders in the pending multi-district litigation centered on the hormone replacement drugs.

Therefore, Wilson ordered every plaintiff dropped from that case and explained that they had 30 days to file new, individual complaints in a proper venue, either where the plaintiff resides or where the injury occurred.

If the plaintiffs did not file new civil actions within the 30 day period, their allegations would be considered dismissed without prejudice.

O'Brien initiated her individual case against Wyeth on April 29 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas. According to the lawsuit, O'Brien claims she took hormone replacement drugs, including Premphase, and was later diagnosed with breast cancer.

The hormone replacement drugs are used to treat the physical symptoms of menopause through the use of estrogen and synthetic progestin.

O'Brien claims that the HRT drugs pose a substantial health risk with little or no corresponding benefits.

"Through a massive decades-long marketing and advertising campaign, Wyeth convinced doctors and the public that menopause is a disease requiring drug treatment rather than the natural process of aging," the plaintiff states.

The complaint asserts the defendants are liable for claims negligence, negligence misrepresentation, breach of express and implied warranty, intentional misrepresentation and fraud, violations of state consumer fraud acts, assault and battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence and malice, and strict products liability including defective product, defective marketing and inadequate warnings.

O'Brien is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical and emotional pain, physical and emotional suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, extreme embarrassment, loss of wages and loss of wage earning capacity.

Austin attorney James A. Morris, Jr. of Morris Law Firm is representing the plaintiff. U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

The case will be transferred to the multi-district litigation pending in Arkansas for pre-trial proceedings.

Case No. 1:10cv00249

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