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Rheingold Firm Files First Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Use Of Benicar

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

As Published today: NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The first wrongful death case arising out of the use of the prescription drug Benicar was filed today in Atlantic County, New Jersey, by the firm of Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP Kuznicki v. Daiichi Sankyo et al.

The suit, brought by the widow of William J. Kuznicki, alleges that while using Benicar in 2012, he developed an intestinal disease, referred to as enteropathy or celiac disease or sprue-like, which debilitated him and necessitating hospitalization for uncontrollable diarrhea. He lost weight, became further debilitated, and then died February 2013, at the age of 74.

This case will join six other Benicar cases filed by the Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP firm which are pending in state court in Atlantic City. In each of these the claim is the same: after use of Benicar for a period of time the plaintiff developed uncontrollable diarrhea necessitating hospitalization. All cases in New Jersey involving Benicar-induced injuries have been assigned to one judge in Atlantic County to coordinate their preparation, Judge Nelson Johnson.

Benicar (known by its generic name of olmesartan) is prescribed for high blood pressure. It is in the ARB category of drugs. Chief among the corporations named as defendants in the Kuznicki death action case is Daiichi Sankyo US Inc., which has its headquarters in New Jersey. Also named is the Japanese parent company, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. Forrest Laboratories, Inc., also a drug manufacturer located in New Jersey, is an additional defendant in the suit on the basis of having a co-marketing agreement to sell Benicar. Olmasartan is also in other drugs sold by Daiichi, including Azor, Tribenzor and Benicar HCT.

It is alleged in the complaint by Mr. Kuznicki’s widow that the drug companies failed to include in their drug label any warning about the development of the serious intestinal condition which he developed, so that neither he nor his prescribing and treating doctors could be aware of the risk of exposure to the drug. Yet, it is also alleged, the drug companies were aware of this serious side effect, based on reports to it and a medical analysis done by the Mayo Clinic in 2012.

The Food and Drug Administration issued its own warning about the risk of this serious intestinal side effect in July 2013, and required that Daiichi Sankyo place a prominent warning on the product informing prescribing doctors about this condition.

Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP is a national law firm with its offices in New York City. It is recognized as one of the leaders in drug and device litigation, and mass torts more generally. The firm also handles medical malpractice litigation, product liability suits, and other types of personal injury litigation.

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