Mysterious lawyer joins state Zyprexa case

HUNTINGTON - West Virginia taxpayers have retained a mysterious attorney in their lawsuit over ill effects of Zyprexa, a prescription drug for psychotics. Records at U. S. District Court in Huntington show that Jeaneen Legato of Charleston entered an appearance for the state in the Zyprexa case. A clerk said it appeared she was a sole practitioner. Her entry of appearance gave a phone number, but for two weeks calls to that number yielded no response. Also, the answering machine gave no name. The Greater Charleston phone book shows no Legato in the white pages and no Legato under lawyers in the yellow pages. Deputy Attorney General Fran Hughes, who usually answers questions for Attorney General Darrell McGraw's office, did not return a call about Legato. Nor did she return calls from the rest of The Record staff on other stories. In February, McGraw sued Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis in Mason County. He sought creation of a fund for those who will develop diabetes and other diseases as a result of Lilly's deceptive marketing and distribution of Zyprexa. He also sought restitution, treble damages, attorney fees, investigative costs, court costs and an injunction against unfair or deceptive acts and practices. Before Circuit Judge David Nibert could sink his teeth into the case, Eli Lilly removed it to federal court in Huntington. There, Eli Lilly asked District Judge Robert Chambers to consolidate the West Virginia claim with Zyprexa cases at federal court in New York. McGraw, on the other hand, asked Chambers to send the Zyprexa case back to Point Pleasant. That gives Chambers a triple option. He can remand the case to Mason County, transfer it to New York or keep it in his court.

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