NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:
wrongful death cases for what they really are: cold blooded premeditated murder!
When the risk is known and not stated, then what else could it be
other than premeditated murder? If it was an individual, rather than a wealthy
corporation who did this you had better believe they would be facing
premeditated murder charges.
may have an increased risk of suicidal thinking, but it did not mention adults
being at risk of committing suicide or that the drug could cause any homicidal
thoughts or actions.
Because of the omissions from the label, the
plaintiffs allege Pfizer committed “fraud, misrepresentation, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, aggravated or gross negligence, battery,
assault, and potentially, premeditated murder.” . . .
conduct was extreme and outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree as to
go beyond all possible bounds of decency as to be regarded as atrocious and
utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” the suit states.
Suit blames anti-depressant drug for 2007 murder-suicide
10/1/2009 2:43 PM By Marilyn Tennissen
SHERMAN — In a suit recently transferred to the East
Texas federal court, the maker of a popular anti-depressant drug is being blamed
for a murder-suicide committed by a woman who had taken the drug.
papers say that after taking Pfizer’s drug Zoloft, 41-year-old Andrea Roberts
shot and killed her two children and husband before turning the gun on
Her parents, Glenda and John Robert McCoy, and brother, John
Andrew McCoy, acting pro se, first filed a suit in Denton County on July 31 on
behalf of decedents Jon Andrea Roberts, Michael Roberts, Micayla Roberts and
Pfizer Inc., Pfizer Chairman Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer
subsidiary Greenstone Pharmaceuticals and Does 1-50 were named as defendants.
Pfizer had the case transferred to the Sherman Division of
the Eastern District of Texas on Sept. 28.
According to the suit, on
July 24, 2007, Andrea Roberts bought Zoloft from a Tom Thumb Pharmacy in Flower
Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor prescribed to
patients for many psychiatric conditions and is designed to be taken orally once
a day or more often as directed by a physician.
The suit does not state
why Roberts was taking the medication, how long she had taken it or the doctor
who had prescribed it.
One week after she picked up the prescription, Andrea
Roberts and her family were dead.
Andrea Roberts allegedly shot and
killed her two children Micayla and Dylan, her husband, Michael, and then
committed suicide at their home in Denton on July 31, 2007. According to the
suit, in the days leading up to the incident Roberts had become paranoid and
“The surviving plaintiffs allege that the product Zoloft
caused these violent acts,” the complaint states. “In the alternative, the
surviving plaintiffs allege that the product Zoloft was a contributing cause
accounting for causing or worsening decedent Andrea Roberts‘ condition to the
point of causing paranoia, psychosis, homicidal thinking or other symptoms
inhibiting her judgment leading to the commission of homicidal and suicidal
In its Notice of Removal, Pfizer argues there are many
inconsistencies in the plaintiffs’ complaint.
“Although this action can
be fairly characterized as a products liability case, plaintiffs purport to
assert a wide variety of claims in this lawsuit and their Petition is confusing
and contradictory,” Pfizer states.
The plaintiffs argue that because
Andrea Roberts did not consent to taking “a drug that causes homicide,” she
should be considered “involuntarily intoxicated” and therefore not guilty of
contributory negligence or assumption of risk.
Pfizer knew from reports
and studies that Zoloft could cause homicidal actions, the suit alleges, but
failed to include that information on the drug’s warning label.
label did contain a warning that children and teenagers may have an increased
risk of suicidal thinking, but it did not mention adults being at risk of
committing suicide or that the drug could cause any homicidal thoughts or
Because of the omissions from the label, the plaintiffs allege
Pfizer committed “fraud, misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, aggravated or gross negligence, battery, assault, and potentially,
They also claim a safer alternative design of the
drug existed, but Pfizer “chose to manufacture and the dangerous drug anyway.”
“Defendants’ conduct was extreme and outrageous in character, and so
extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency as to be
regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” the suit
The plaintiffs cite several causes of action throughout the
Pfizer argues that while the plaintiffs appear to be
asserting a claim for products liability, they also assert claims for negligent
manufacture, design and marketing; a wrongful death and survival action; and
intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as actual and punitive
They are also claiming breach of warranty, fraud,
misrepresentation, aggravated or gross negligence, battery, assault and even
Pfizer writes that the complaint incorrectly lists
Greenstone Pharmaceuticals as a subsidiary of Pfizer when it is not.
addition, Jeffrey Kindler is listed as a defendant in the style of the case, but
the petition does not identify him as a party to the case and there are no
allegations against Kindler in the complaint.
As to damages, Pfizer
points out the varying amounts mentioned in the plaintiffs’ petition.
one place, the plaintiffs state they are seeking to recover $900,000 in Andrea‘s
lost earnings and $4 million for Michael’s.
Then they ask for $23
million for the products liability claims, $20,000 for funeral and burial costs,
$1 million for each of the surviving plaintiffs and $5 million for each of the
decedents to compensate them for their loss of affection, companionship and
At other places in the complaint, it states
plaintiffs are limiting damages to $50,000.
“The pro se Plaintiffs’
Petition appears to have been put together using a legal form,” Pfizer writes.
Pfizer is represented by Laura E. De Santos of Clark, Thomas &
Winters PC in Houston. Jack E. Urquhart of Clark, Thomas is of
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Michael H.
Schneider and referred to Magistrate Judge A. L. Mazzant.
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