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Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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The Baycol / Lipobay - Scandal

Jury sides with Bayer in 2nd lawsuit tried over Baycol in Mississippi

A Jones County jury ruled Tuesday for the makers of the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol in a lawsuit by an 83-year-old man claiming muscle weakness from taking the drug. The jury took about two hours to decide in favor of pharmaceutical giant Bayer Corp

(The Clarion Ledger / December 10, 2003) -- The case, brought by Billy G. Slaughter of Laurel, was the second Baycol lawsuit to go to trial in Mississippi. Bayer also won the first suit, which was heard in Hinds County Court.

"We are happy the jury listen to the evidence and delivered a fair verdict," said Bayer's attorney Robert Johnson III.

Bayer has acknowledged the link between the drug and a side effect called rhabdomyolysis, a rare, life-threatening condition in which muscle cells are destroyed. But the company said it acted responsibly by taking the drug off the market in August 2001.

Slaughter, who was seeking $165,000, said in the lawsuit that he took the drug from October 2000 until March 2001. He said it caused sudden muscle weakness, leading to falls.

The lawsuit said the drug carried an unreasonably dangerous risk for severe muscle injury and death.

Slaughter's attorney, Robert F. Wilkins, said "the verdict hasn't changed my opinion one bit." Wilkins was the plaintiff's attorney in the first Baycol trial in the state.

"It may take a little more time, but one day this company will be popped for producing a bad drug," Wilkins said. "I'm not going anywhere ... I'm in it for the long haul."

There are 294 lawsuits filed in Mississippi against Bayer. Nationwide, there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 cases against Bayer. The company has paid $125 million to settle about 450 cases.

The Food and Drug Administration linked Baycol to at least 52 deaths worldwide before it was pulled from the market.