BLUEFIELD – A couple is suing Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for failing to warn them about the risk associated with one of its drugs.

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. also was named as a defendant in the suit.

Donald W. Proffitt Jr. was prescribed Abilify from Aug. 19, 2014, until July 2015, according to a complaint filed Oct. 17 in Mercer Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Nov. 21.

Donald Proffitt and his wife, Pamela Proffitt, claim in the summer of 2015, Donald Proffitt began to develop symptoms of restlessness, twitching, lip smacking, shaking and fidgeting and they were initially sporadic, but progressed in intensity.

The plaintiff was eventually diagnosed with Tardive Dyskinesia, a known foreseeable risk associated with the use of Abilify, according to the suit.

The Proffitts claim on Oct. 19, 2015, Donald Proffitt was informed that Tardive Dyskinesia was caused by Abilify.

As a direct and proximate result of his use of Ability, Donald Proffitt developed Tardive Dyskinesia, resulting in his inability to conduct his personal and business affairs, his inability to work, his inability to perform many normal activities of a person his age and his inability to enjoy life, according to the suit.

The Proffitts claim the defendants aggressively marketed Abilify and undertook advertising campaigns promoting the virtues of Abilify in order to induce widespread use of the product.

The defendants’ failure to provide reasonable instructions or warnings regarding the use of Abilify is a proximate cause of Donald Proffitt’s developing Tardive Dyskinesia and his resulting injuries and damages, according to the suit.

The Proffitts claim the defendants failed to warn Donald Proffitt and breached their implied warranty of merchantability.

The Proffitts are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by C. William Davis of Richardson & Davis and James W. Dudley of The Dudley Law Firm.

The defendants are represented by Erik W. Legg of Farrell White & Legg; Anand Agneshwar and Paige Sharpe of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer; and Philip J. Combs and Natalie R. Atkinson of Thomas Combs & Spann.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-cv-04391

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