Yesterday in Dallas federal court, Carter Albrecht's parents, Ken and Judy, finally sued Pfizer, claiming that its smoking-cessation drug Chantix played a "direct and proximate" role in Carter's shooting death almost two years ago to the day. The Albrechts have long considered suing Pfizer, but Ken waited until the Food and Drug Administration took action of its own, which it did in July when it announced that Chantix packaging will now include a "mental health events" warning.
Albrecht tells Unfair Park that the suit -- which asks for "compensatory damages for the described injuries and losses with respect to each cause of action" and "funeral and burial expenses," among other requests for relief -- also serves another purpose. "When the FDA backs off, we can continue to remind Pfizer they have to keep the public informed of the risks associated with this drug," he says.
The Albrechts' lawsuit -- which Tim Rogers posted earlier today and which is available in full after the jump -- is but one of many Chantix suits piling up over the last year. In fact there are so many scattered throughout the courts, especially following the FDA's July announcement, that this month there's a hearing to see whether they should be consolidated.
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Ken also knows that should this go to trial, as the Albrechts have requested, Pfizer's attorneys will remind the jury, over and over again, that Carter's blood alcohol level was 0.29 the night he died, three times the legal driving limit. By the time this is over, Ken says, Pfizer will put Carter on trial as well.
"Absolutely," he says. "Absolutely. Yes, it's going to be difficult, I am sure. We didn't go into this blindly. They have the best attorneys in the world, the pharmaceutical companies, because people die when they take their drugs. So we'll see. It'll be a long, drawn-out affair. ... Because when people die from your product, you have to dig in your heels. The only alternative is to admit that you screwed up."