That is, until people started getting sick with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Fen-Phen was soon pulled from the market and has been out of circulation for years. Many a Fen-Phen lawsuit was filed alleging their PPH (and PAH, or primary arterial hypertension, which is the updated term for PPH…) was triggered by their use of Fen-Phen. Many a Fen-Phen settlement followed.
Since then, given the prerequisite statute of limitations, one would assume any further lawsuits pertaining to Fen-Phen and PPH would not be possible.
Akin to the latency period that occurs with asbestosis and mesothelioma that can see the emergence of disease delayed by decades following exposure, consumers of Fen-Phen hit with a diagnosis years after coming off the drug, can potentially circumvent the normal statute of limitations and file a Fen-Phen lawsuit.
As reported by Heidi Turner, a judge in 2012 refused to grant motions of summary judgment and dismissal as petitioned by Fen-Phen manufacturers, ruling that there was sufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate that PPH/PAH can remain latent and unobserved for onwards of 10 years following a full stop to the drug. The judge also refused to disallow testimony of expert witnesses for the plaintiffs.
Of course, a successful Fen-Phen case alleging primary pulmonary hypertension can hinge on the availability, breadth and depth of expert witness testimony - and sometimes when a potential causation is viewed as a grey area, the lawsuit is lost. This is what happened recently to plaintiffs Liza Valido-Shade and Tim Shade, when defendant Wyeth LLC moved for summary judgment and filed a Daubert motion on the grounds that testimony from the plaintiff’s case-specific causation experts should be excluded.
That motion was granted, and the case was lost. It is not known if the plaintiffs will appeal (Liza Valido-Shade, et al. v. Wyeth LLC, et al. United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
However, it does give pause for a potential plaintiff to consider a Fen-Phen lawsuit if signs of PPH or primary arterial hypertension begin to surface years after coming off Fen-Phen. In Liza Valido-Shade’s case, she used Fen-Phen for a number of months in 1996 and 1997.
She was diagnosed with primary arterial hypertension in 2010 - thirteen years after coming off the Fen-Phen diet pill.
READ MORE PPH AND FEN-PHEN LEGAL NEWS
If you took Fen-Phen in the ’90s and have become ill with PHA - and you suspect Fen-Phen side effects - it still may be possible to litigate. Contacting a Fen-Phen diet pill attorney might be a prudent thing to do.