According to court documents, in one case, the plaintiff’s lawyers have asked for more time so they can locate her. In that case (Ida Bailey v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-2541), the judge dismissed without prejudice.
“Dismissal with prejudice is a particularly harsh sanction, and the Court has no information as to why Plaintiff left her former residence without providing counsel with a forwarding address or why she has been unresponsive to requests made through her family members,” Judge Richard Gergel ruled. Two other claims were dismissed with prejudice.
Lawsuits filed against Pfizer have increased dramatically since earlier in 2014. The number of lawsuits has gone up from 56 to more than 1,100 since all federally filed Lipitor lawsuits were consolidated in one action in South Carolina. The lawsuits allege patients developed Type 2 diabetes as a result of using Lipitor to lower their cholesterol levels.
Plaintiffs allege Pfizer failed to adequately warn patients and physicians about the risk of diabetes associated with the medication. Pfizer, they claim, “negligently, recklessly, and/or carelessly marketed Lipitor without adequate warnings,” according to court documents.
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According to a 12-month rolling history of drug prescriptions, compiled by research firm IMS, Lipitor was number 100 on the list of drugs most prescribed in the US, with 1,085,544 prescriptions.
Lipitor is known generically as atorvastatin. Federally filed lawsuits have been consolidated into MDL No. 2502, in the US District Court of South Carolina.