CHARLESTON – Individuals who sued manufacturers of heart medicine Digitek will feel more like patients than plaintiffs when they fill out fact sheets for a federal judge.
Lawyers on opposite sides of national litigation in U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin's court jointly prepared the fact sheets, which require 10 years of medical history and allow no secrets.
Plaintiffs must disclose any testing for psychological disorders, substance abuse, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
They must furnish job records including pensions and insurance, and they must disclose all workers compensation claims, disability claims and personal injury lawsuits.
They must identify every doctor who saw them, every hospital that admitted them, and every pharmacy that dispensed any drug to them.
They must list all drugs they have taken and describe any side effects.
They must complete a chart of diagnoses of family members.
Smokers must state how much they smoke and how long they have smoked, and drinkers must state how much they drink and how often.
Plaintiffs must complete charts of Digitek pills they took. If they ever used Lanoxin, they must complete a chart for that.
Since last August, Goodwin has presided over Digitek cases from all around the nation by appointment of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation.
Plaintiffs claim that Mylan Pharmaceuticals of West Virginia, Actavis US, and UDL Laboratories misrepresented Digitek as safe.
Physicians and patients relied on misrepresentations and deceptions in deciding to prescribe Digitek, they allege.
According to a master complaint, "Plaintiffs have sustained severe physical injuries and/or death, severe emotional distress, mental anguish, economic losses and other damages for which they are entitled to compensatory and equitable damages."
Courts have transferred more than 100 suits to Goodwin, and suits keep coming.
Goodwin had a status conference scheduled for March 5.