Kanawha woman files Digitek suit on late mother's behalf

By Cara Bailey | Nov 25, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman has filed a suit on behalf of her mother, who allegedly died after a reaction to a prescription drug she was given, which was manufactured by Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

Elizabeth Byus filed the suit Oct. 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Mylan, as well as Actavis Group and UDL Laboratories. The suit was filed on behalf of the estate of Julia E. Daniel, Byus's mother.

According to the suit, on May 16, 2008, Daniel was prescribed Digetek, also known by the name Digoxin.

Digetek is a prescription drug widely used in the treatment of various heart conditions, including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and heart failure that cannot be controlled by other medications.

According to the suit, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the medication to be manufactured, distributed and sold with approved levels of active ingredients.

Ingestion of excess levels of the active ingredient in Digetek beyond the level approved by the FDA can cause death and other health problems.

According to the lawsuit, Mylan has received at least 11, and possibly more complaints about the adverse side effects of Digetek since 2006.

"Defendants have a history of releasing drug products for public consumption that have been adulterated," the suit says.

Byus claims her mother had an irregular heartbeat and had a pacemaker installed. Daniel also took Digetek. As a result of her ingestion of Digetek, Daniel suffered toxicity and died May 16, 2008.

According to the suit, the defendants owed a duty to Daniel to design, manufacture, test, advertise, promote, sell and distribute Digetek.

Byus claims she has suffered sorrow, mental anguish and solace, which may include society, companionship, comfort, consortium, guidance, love, kindly offices and advice of her mother.

In the six-count suit, Byus seeks compensatory and punitive damages for her mother's estate.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1954

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