Pfizer settles lawsuit with widow over suicide linked to Chantix

Posted by Sarah Showard | Oct 29, 2012 | 0 Comments


A Minnesota woman has received an undisclosed settlement with Pfizer Inc., maker of the anti-smoking drug Chantix, over the suicide death of her husband, Mark Alan Whitely. Judy Ann Whitely sued Pfizer, saying the pharmaceutical company didn't warn consumers that Chantix might increase the risk of suicide. Whitely killed himself in November 2007.

While the Whitely case was the first of more than 2,500 Chantix-related cases in federal court that was set for trial, the settlement appears to be the only one Pfizer considered for settlement, according to the Whitely's lawyer.

According to court records, Pfizer denied that Chantix led to Whitely's suicide and the company claimed its warnings of suicide risk, which were updated from 2007-2009, were sufficient.

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About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.


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