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Fen-Phen Lawsuits and Settlements Revisited

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Charleston, WV: “I used to work in a prosecutor’s office and like to keep up on legal news,” says Patricia, age 65 and a former Fen-phen consumer. “I subscribe to the LawyersandSettlements newsletter and that is how I discovered that you could re-open a Fen-phen claim—even if you settled. But I never filed a claim to begin with. I thought it had been completely settled-- now I am totally surprised.

Fen-Phen Lawsuits and Settlements Revisited"I think that most people who settled years ago for a negligible amount would also be surprised to know that they can re-open their claim. A lot of people my age don’t have computers and don’t know what is going on.”

There are two Fen-phen “camps”: those consumers with minor injuries who originally settled with Fen-Phen drug manufacturers and those who had no Fen-Phen side effects and did not join a Fen-Phen lawsuit. Now a judge has ruled that both camps may be eligible to file a claim.

“When the Fen-phen lawsuits settled, people thought the injury had a time limit but over the course of time injuries continue to occur,” says attorney Ben Stewart. “If you originally settled with a minor injury, and have now developed a serious condition, you can file a claim. Or you didn’t have an injury and didn’t settle, now you can come back and file a claim.”

Two recent lawsuits argued that Fen-phen consumers developed PPH several years after using the diet pill. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (the company that invented the drug) attorneys argued that the cases should be thrown out because the plaintiffs had no evidence that Fen-phen could cause PPH more than a decade after the pills were discontinued. The judge disagreed. In September 2012, Judge Bartle ruled that Fen-phen lawsuits involving latent Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) will be allowed to proceed.

Judge Bartle determined that enough scientific evidence supported the latent PPH argument, which is extremely good news for the plaintiffs and countless other Fen-phen users who are now suffering from life-threatening PPH, a severe lung disease that causes progressive lung and heart damage, and often leads to heart failure. There is no cure for PPH.

Even if you took Fen-phen back in 1997, like Patricia and her husband did, and are just now developing symptoms of PPH, you may be eligible to file a Fen-phen lawsuit. Patricia is filing a Fen-phen claim on behalf of her deceased husband and herself. They both took the Fen-phen diet pill for about two years.

“My husband, Delbert, had open heart surgery in 2001 and had six bypasses and now I too have heart disease,” says Patricia. “Neither of us had any signs of heart disease before taking the drug so I really think that Fen-phen contributed to his death, and now I am facing Fen-phen injuries.”

Patricia, who had a stent implanted several years ago and is now on heart meds, doesn’t remember getting any information about the side effects or risks when they were prescribed the drug to lose weight.

“We both started having heart palpitations so we stopped taking Fen-phen on our own because we thought it wasn’t good for us—our doctor didn’t advise us to stop taking it,” Patricia adds. “I remember that it took us about three months for our hearts to stop racing, to get it out of our system. We thought we were out of the woods but that wasn’t to be.

"Delbert began to have chest pains and we got him to a cardiologist. They found the blockages and said he needed surgery immediately. It was a shock to both of us. At that time we never made the connection with heart disease and Fen-phen--you just accept what the doctor tells you and you just carry on.

"We had gotten a letter in 2002 from “Pounds Away”, a weight loss clinic where a doctor prescribed the Fen-phen but we ignored the letter because we weren’t having any problems back then.

"When my husband passed away last year I began to clean out our paperwork and found the letter. They wanted us both to come in and arrange for us to be tested for hidden heart valve damage and Fen-phen related PPH. But I never received any information pertaining to a Fen-phen lawsuit.

"There are days when my heart races. I think that I would have had a heart attack and probably wouldn’t be here either if not for taking heart meds and being under the care of a cardiologist. I take care of myself and watch what I eat, I exercise daily: I walk and use the treadmill and if I get the chance, sit-ups and other exercises. I never drink sodas and limit coffee to two cups a day. I don’t eat any red meat and don’t drink. I’m feeling pretty good but I am still dealing with my husband’s death—I really believe he would be here today if not for Fen-Phen.”

PPH and Fen-Phen Legal Help

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Marion Fowler
on
I was involved in a suit ...but never received closure ... How can I follow up on this?

Posted by
Dennis
on
I also took phen fen and my lawyer told us all it was in our best interest to opt out or we may not recive any compensation and we accepted a settlement. Since then I have had open heart surgery with a mechanical saint Jude valve and I am in and out of the hospital I never received punitive damages and felt like I was done wrong ,we had 13 in our group I was told and if we didn't take the offer it would be off the table the next day. our case was in pennsylvania and I even had to pay back my medical insurance company back all they paid out for my surgeries ,@ $300,000 or my attorney said they would tie up my money in court if I didn't go ahead and allow them to pay them from my settlement. I was also paying my own medical premium for this insurance. After all was said and done along with charges for another attorney that spoke to me maybe two times on phone while he was running for a senator but lost and got paid $150,000 from my settlement for being a consulting attorney.
If anyone knows what us little guys can do before we pass on please let me know. My attorney wont even return my email or call on it so I just gave up until I read these post of people like me that was mistreated. Thank you all and God Bless you and yours.

Posted by
Debra Gann
on
I took phen fen for about 3 years.Had a substantial settlement and had to sign off saying case closed.My attorney got a big part of it.I'm having to see a cardiologist now lots of problems including heart valve surgery.My claim was settled in Texas and those original attorneys don't even want to discuss it.I don't know any details or what my claim number is.Does anyone know what to do?

Posted by
Commie
on
My sister was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, she weighed 400 pounds and the Doctor's said she had to lose weight for a heart transplant, she lost the 200 pounds without Fen Fen, She returned back to the Doctor's and they said her heart was working a lot better since she lost the weight and didn't need a heart transplant, but she was not to ever gain the weight. Well she did start gaining the weight back, then a doctor prescribed her Fen Fen, she took the drug for almost a year. She died of a massive heart attack sicx months later, she still had the fen fen in her pocket book, she left behind a 13 and 16 year old son and sisters and brothers that loved her very much, can I file am law suit

Posted by
Martha
on
I took these diet drugs for about 3 months in the late 90's. I received a small settlement in 2006 . I have a letter from the attorney saying if I had heart surgery within so many years I would receive another $100,000. Thank God I haven't need surgery but WHO GOT THE $100,000? I called the attorney's office to ask but couldn't get a straight answer. Does anyone know? I'm thinking about re-opening case.

Posted by
Michelle Vinson
on
Yes CW Sweeny the same thing happened to me and I am still fighting. The best thing I am going to do is continue to fight I know my lawyer did me wrong but the statue of limitations for the bar association to do anything about it has expired.

Posted by
CW Sweeney
on
Just saw TV show re greed and fen-phen settlement. How can I see what the manufacturer agreed to pay on my claim - I know what the attorney gave me. I was awarded a sum to be used for surgery within a limited time period and if not used the sum disappeared. I assume the law firm got it. Has anyone else had the disappearing medical award with time limits? I never got this medical award because I have not had to use it to date. I did receive a separate award for damages to my heart valve.>

Posted by
Michelle Vinson
on
Can someone please contact me if they have any additional information. I think we should go to the media in our states and blast the lawyers that handled our cases email me at yahoo please mshllyt my name is michelle

Posted by
donna fowler
on
re-visiting possibility of re-opening fen-phen settlement

Posted by
Michelle Vinson
on
Jill and everyone, I read your comment and I believe we should start a class action lawsuit against the Attorneys that may have done to us what those other Attorneys did and kept most of the settlement and lied to us about our actual settlement amounts. Those Attorneys are in jail now. We need a lawyer who will represent us and go after the truth.

If you have someone have them contact me and I will have an attorney that I find do the same thing. I have had open heart surgery and received less than 10,000 dollars

Posted by
Jill
on
I did receive a settlement not in the class action, but by a private attorney that advised us to take the settlement. I did not know that I would keep having problems still to this day. 3 open heart surgery's, Going into Cardiac arrest. Or I would of never settled knowing this could still happen. And the cost still to this day . It sounds like to me from all the post we need to find a attorney that would take on all our cases again and go after them for the things that have happened to all of us, over time. I have been looking for a couple of years now and the Attorneys only want the ones in the class action. If any attorney is reading this, I think all of us need help, to make this right. American Home products knew that there would still be problems, but did not tell us in the settlement. That is why they covered them selves in a clause( known or unknown.) I have learned a lot looking into this. If anyone has a Attorney that is willing to help please let me know, before I die. Thanks

Posted by
Samantha Adams
on
It's good to know that fen-phen users haven't lost their ability to sue just because they weren't suffering from PPH or valve damage at the time of the original settlements.

I do wonder about some of the reader comments though. It's possible that fen-phen caused other problems, but I thought there was only a chance of winning a lawsuit for PPH or the particular type of valve damage fen-phen is known to cause. Not strokes, other types of valve or heart damage, fibromyalgia, tremors, afib, etc. It would be very difficult I think, even impossible, to establish that fen-phen caused those other problems.

Posted by
Stacey
on
I received settlement in 2007, took the drug from 1996, in 2006 I collapsed while grocery shopping and was diagnosed DCM, TIA, mitro valve prolapse & afib...wanted to know if this constitutes additional compensation from class action suit...I am registered claimant.

Posted by
D B
on
My husband took this diet supplement in the late 1990 and has suffered from neurological problems from the stimulation of the brain, insomnia, and stimulants in this product.. We have been involved with a suit some years past for a small amount of heart damage through a lawyer in Texas. We have suffered from essential tremours for more than 6 years now and currently will be going to MAYO this week for updates on his condition. He is unable to shave himself, feed himself, and wirte.. for a retired school teacher this is rough. Please let us know if anyone has determined these supplements to cause such neurological damages thank you,, Barry's wife, Deb

Posted by
LB
on
I took phen phen had a lawyer Isigned off for an amount that they offered me but I never received my money. I think the lawyers took my money and now they won't return my calls. WHAT CAN I DO?????

Posted by
Frances Hart
on
I took this drug and received a substantial settlement, over 300,000.00. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, and I'm really scared that a recent Dr's visit was not as thorough as it should have been. A friend's husband had those so called professional tests, and he ended up with a misdiagnosis and is now bed ridden, and she has been up in arms, etc.etc.,. and you would think this could not have happened to him, but it did. What should I do to make sure I am getting diagnosed correctly with regard to my over all health after taking this drug, or drugs? Thank you..... FH

Posted by
Michelle Vinson
on
I took phen fen and my lawyer told us all it was in our best interest to opt out or we may not receieve compentsation and we accepted a settlement. Since then I have had open heart surgery with a mechancial valve and I am in and out of the hospital.

Posted by
Joy Hart
on
I took pfen fen for about six months. Ten years ago I had gastric bypass surgery (it worked!). During all the testing prior to having the surgery, it came out that my heart wasn't in the best of shape. I never thought anything of it, just knew I had to get the weight off. Long story short, three years ago I suffered a mini stroke (TIA), which turned out to be one of 3 that I had had. Since then I have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, leaky heart valves, atrial fibrillation and an enlarged heart. My cardiologist had told me I would likely be on a heart transplant list in 2 years if my heart function didn't improve dramatically. Am doing better now, managing my conditions with medications. Now I have to wonder if any of it could be related to pfen fen. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Posted by
Scared Mom
on
I used Fen Phen for about 6 months. I stopped b/c my heart kept racing. But I didn't have any problems until last year. Now I have high blood pressure, panic attacks and recently dx with mitral valve prolapse. What can I do?

Posted by
Evelyn
on
I never received any settlement because my doctor quit her business and I could not get my records showing what she dispensed from her office. Do I have to go through an attorney and pay them??? My mom went to the same doctor but she got benefits...

Posted by
Natalie Calloway
on
I took redux way back in 96 to 97. Back then the heart test cam back ok. But now I have had problems with my heart racing, anxiety attacks and fibromyalga since 97. Now I have high blood pressure for the last3 years or so. I tought I was a part of the law suit but I never heard any thing. Can someone guide me in the right direction? Thank you.

Posted by
delores b
on
if u were part of a class action suit and won does everyone in the suit get compensated

Posted by
Shelia adams
on
I received a settlement maybe somewhere around 2000-2001. I would like to know the amout of my settlement recieved and I belive it was with a law firm in Charlotte, NC.

Posted by
Beth
on
Beth-
Here's the latest update on the Diet Drug Settlement.
This is probably what Claire Iles's heard about.
Let's disuss further .

Thanks,
Myra

Posted by
Louise Bates
on
Re-visiting possibility of re-opening fen-phen lawsuit settlement.

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