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Trial dates in Chantix MDL set

Filed March 27th, 2012 Joshua Sophy

The federal judge serving over the Chantix Multidistrict Litigation case in an Alabama federal court has set dates for two bellwether trials.

According to a report from The Birmingham (Ala.) News, Judge Inge Johnson said recently that the first trial in the Chantix MDL will begin Oct. 22. Each of the first two bellwether trials involve victims of stop-smoking drug Chantix side effects who committed suicide. These cases will argue that taking Chantix resulted in a person taking their own life.  The second trial will begin Jan. 22, 2013.

These are two among thousands of Chantix side effects lawsuits included in the Alabama MDL and most other cases involve victims whose adverse effects did not result in suicide but in some other troubling behavior, including aggression, depression, anxiety, erratic behavior, thoughts of suicide, and others, according to the report.

MDL is often scheduled for cases making similar accusations against a particular product or entity. Thousands have been prescribed the stop-smoking drug either in an attempt to stop the smoking habit, but also for other off-label purposes. Some reports indicate the U.S. military was prescribing Chantix to soldiers returning home from active duty in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Birmingham News report indicates the first trial represents a Minnesota man who began taking Chantix in 2007 before he unexpectedly took his own life. Details of that incident are not publicly disclosed. His wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers of Chantix.

The second trial was filed on behalf of an Oregon woman who claims Chantix caused her to commit suicide less than year after she started taking the drug, taking her life in July 2008.

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