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Fen-Phen User Wins $75K Jury Award

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Virginia Cavender has been awarded $75,000 from a federal court jury in St. Louis for claims that pharmaceutical giant Wyeth‘s diet drug Fen-Phen caused damage to her heart valves. The jury needed less than seven hours to deliberate her claims of failure to warn and breach of implied warranty.

Cavender says that she used Wyeth’s Pondimin (fenfluramine) and the generic phentermine for a period of two months in 1996 in an attempt to lose weight. Fenfluramine, as well as dexfenfluramine, were pulled from the market in 1997 in response to growing evidence linking the drugs with heart valve damage.

The Plaintiff prevailed on her claims of failure to warn and breach of implied warranty; however, U.S. District Judge Richard Webber granted Wyeth’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, dismissing Cavender’s claims for negligent failure to test and breach of express warranty. Following the verdict, Wyeth said it was, “reviewing its post-trial options” in the case.

For more information on this subject, pelase refer to our section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.