Response to Ambien lawsuit attorney
This is the response by Mike DePinto to the response of Ms. Lask, plaintiff's attorney ini a class action suit against the manufacturer of Ambie, to Mike's article on the subject. Note URL references with asterisks in this article relate to following URLs.
My Response to Ms. Lask’s Post-
I appreciate Ms. Lask’s comments, but my opinion of the lawsuit remains the same though I do applaud her efforts to stop the ambulance chasers from jumping on the band wagon.
According to the Washington Post*, Sanofi-Aventis has responded to the suit by saying, "the side effect is known but rare, and that ‘when taken as prescribed, Ambien is a safe and effective treatment for insomnia.’ The side effect is disclosed in the product's full labeling material, where it is cited among numerous central nervous system side effects." The article goes on to state that, "besides seeking damages, [the plaintiffs] hope to force the drug company to provide stronger cautions about sleepwalking."
The fact that Sanofi-Aventis warned doctors and users of the possible rare side effects makes this nothing more than a nuisance lawsuit. An estimated twenty-five million people have taken Ambien and as many as "18% of the population are prone to sleepwalking."** As I asked in my post, what scientific evidence exists that links Ambien to sleepwalking and/or sleepeating? Just by the sheer number of users, one would expect some sleepwalking which includes the possibility of sleepeating or even sleepdriving.*** Regardless, patients have the ability to choose for themselves if they want to risk the possible side effects of taking Ambien if indeed the drug causes the unintended behavior.
The complaint**** filed by Ms. Lask asks that the court award compensatory damages and punitive damages to the plaintiffs and “attorney’s fees for the cost of action.” I find Ms. Lask’s claim - to mitigate the damage to those who had no idea that Ambien was connected to sleep walking and to inform the public, not at all to cost anyone anything more than that - somewhat disingenuous given that she seeks punitive damages. Also, I did not see a specific request in the brief for the company to change its literature.
Sanofi-Aventis seems to have done everything within reason to make sure their product is safe and effective yet they will have to defend themselves against these allegations. Corporate entities should be immune to legal actions when they test adequately, disclose relevant information, and receive federal approval for their products. America continues to slide towards a nation of self proclaimed victims who, by running to court every time the chance of big payout presents itself, clog our court system, waste thousand of man-hours, and make everything more expensive. As a friend of mine once told me, “When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”
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