Seroquel Diabetes Lawsuit Trial Under Way in New Jersey

Jury selection in the first Seroquel trial began Thursday, with opening statements set to begin Monday in a lawsuit filed by a Vietnam vet who says he developed diabetes after taking the blockbuster antipsychotic to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The Seroquel diabetes lawsuit, brought by Ted Baker, is the first of an estimated 26,000 claims against AstraZeneca over side effects of Seroquel to reach a jury. The case will be heard by a group of five women and four men in New Jersey state court in New Brunswick.

Baker’s case will involve allegations similar to those raised by thousands of other individuals in state and federal cases filed throughout the country. The Seroquel lawsuits involve allegations that AstraZeneca failed to adequately warn users about the risks of weight gain from Seroquel, and the increased risk of diabetes and other serious injuries.

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Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) is an atypical-antipsychotic that is a top selling drug for AstraZeneca, generating nearly $5 billion a year in sales. Approved by the FDA in 1997 for the treatment of schizophrenia, it is also commonly used off-label for treatment of anxiety, obsessive dementia, compulsive disorders and autism. Seroquel has been used by more than 19 million people worldwide.

All federal Seroquel lawsuits over diabetes are consolidated for pretrial litigation in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, that is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. In November, U.S. District Judge Anne Conway ordered lawyers for both sides to met with a mediator to see if there is any possibility for a Seroquel settlement before as many as 6,000 cases are sent back to the districts where they were originally filed for trial.

AstraZeneca has maintained that they intend to defend all cases. According to a report by Bloomberg News, AstraZeneca is expected to try to convince the jury that Seroquel did not cause diabetes for Baker, suggesting that his lifestyle was more likely the cause of his illness. Baker’s attorneys are likely to employ evidence that AstraZeneca covered up the weight gain side effects of the drugs to show that the drug maker knew for years that it caused weight and diabetes problems.

Internal documents produced during the litigation suggest that the drug maker was aware of the potential weight-gain Seroquel side effects and continued to promote the drug as weight-neutral for years after clinical evidence demonstrated significant problems that could lead to diabetes and other injuries.

The company has racked up $656 million in legal defense costs fighting the failure-to-warn lawsuits over Seroquel. In addition, Seroquel lawyers continue to file new cases for individuals who have developed diabetes, pancreatitis and a rare movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia, so the cost of the litigation is expected to continue to increase.

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7 Comments

  • julianNovember 7, 2010 at 6:22 am

    my sister died 6 1/2 years ago from NMS and diabetes so bad that she was on it 24/7-she put onto a short term(where u go to die( but told us it was a rehab center-she at taht time was not cognitive ,had major deadly side affect of theNMS syndrome that she developed from poor medical follow up blood work and agitation so they increased her resperdal to 10 mg!!!in the "rehab" unit she wore a braclet[Show More]my sister died 6 1/2 years ago from NMS and diabetes so bad that she was on it 24/7-she put onto a short term(where u go to die( but told us it was a rehab center-she at taht time was not cognitive ,had major deadly side affect of theNMS syndrome that she developed from poor medical follow up blood work and agitation so they increased her resperdal to 10 mg!!!in the "rehab" unit she wore a braclet that said "DRUGF allergies"- ANTIPHSYCHOTICS-seroquel, resperdal, zyprexa...so one dr ordered her final dose- SEROQUEL...sent her immeadiately into respiratory arest, had to be transfered to a trauma center- the rehab was not equpte dto handle a CODE BLUE!!!!!in teh twenty minutes it took to get her to the large medical center she was already comatose...the team tried for 45 minutes to bring her back...she died sept.15,2004 @ theage of 36 due to negligance and malpractice-not 23 of teh lawyers i contacted in that city would touch the case...my last resort was to go to pharmaceutical negligance when really tehentire 6 yrs of her last years of her short life were....she wasn't worth paying SSI to her anymore even though she received my das benefits she was an absolute case of discrimination-mentally and developmentally disabled...no case managemant for 3 years ,no special needs pograms, etc.;the medical staf involved with this grusomely neglected death was blame don my and her mother, who ws her primary caretaker since no one informed us that she could have recpit,etc....the mediacl persons involved with her case said my mother overdosed her....my sister died in sept 2004 my 65 yo mother died 3 months later of a lung cancer that went so far undiagnosed by that the time she finaklly was admitted to a hospital she had stage 4 small cell leung carcinoma taht had metastatasized everywhere...she went striaght to a supposedly wonderfully caring hospice 30 miles from where i had to drive daily when ther were many closer...in essence, my mothe was elderly and at poverty level, withan untreated mentall illnesss that she could not afford meds...mother stayed at tTHAT very well known organization and was oeriganally told she could possibly move into her own apt linked to the so caring facility...then to over here some doctores and nurses and others speaking they need ed that eromm for mr.WHOEVER who had great mediacl insurance--my mother was put to rest by her physician because he thought it would be best for her not to suffer......day after her body was removed from the"room" i went to pick up her belongings and MR> INSUR%ANCE and his 20 family members were in ther celebrating his possibly longevity....that was feb 25, 2005....i am just waiting to let the story out' i beleive in a god of my soul and family and i am just being guide by his work.....god bless ayone who can beleive this or even tak the time to read this....blessings, safey, prayers and hope and faith i send out to all who read this...

  • MichaelJune 12, 2010 at 2:06 am

    i started seroquel in 2004,my doctors said it had no side effects that i should be worried about.they started me at 600 mgs a night,over the next 3 years i gained 65 pounds,and i became addicted to the feeling of high sedation,in 2008 i was diagnosed with diabetes,now my diabetes is getting worse and worse.they are trying to put me on insulin but i am resisting by using ancient indian teas to help[Show More]i started seroquel in 2004,my doctors said it had no side effects that i should be worried about.they started me at 600 mgs a night,over the next 3 years i gained 65 pounds,and i became addicted to the feeling of high sedation,in 2008 i was diagnosed with diabetes,now my diabetes is getting worse and worse.they are trying to put me on insulin but i am resisting by using ancient indian teas to help control my blood sugars.i think the drug company has so much ill gotten money that they will never have to pay anyone for causing unneccessary death in thousands and thousands of people.they will delay this litigation until the greta depression which is coming soon upon the world.they knew in 1997 taht the drug killed peopel,they did 120 studys and only 1 was favorable.this is the study they presented to the fda,i think someone bribed the fda as the sweetner nutrsweet still has not been approved for use as it causes cancer in humans and rats,the drug companys just want to keep our hospitals full as this to them means good business.God Help Us All shalom shalom

  • PattyMay 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I am writing in for my son. He started taking seroquel approximately 4 months ago and was not a diagnosed as diabetic until 2 months ago.

  • JacobMarch 4, 2010 at 9:50 am

    And, of course, the docs will say, "... but don't stop taking it." Funny how everytime yet another drug is shown to have potentially fatal side effects that's the line that gets trotted out by some shill. What's really sad is that people diagnosed w/ so-called mental illnesses can't get a second or third opinion even though shrinks are the most likely of all docs to be self-medicating. (They als[Show More]And, of course, the docs will say, "... but don't stop taking it." Funny how everytime yet another drug is shown to have potentially fatal side effects that's the line that gets trotted out by some shill. What's really sad is that people diagnosed w/ so-called mental illnesses can't get a second or third opinion even though shrinks are the most likely of all docs to be self-medicating. (They also argue the exact opposite of each other in a court of law. So much for science!)

  • YolandaFebruary 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I took Seroquel for four years and started with acute pancreatitis, then it progressed to the chronic condition. I have to deal with IBS, Oteoporosis, and the painkillers. The pancreatitis is the idopathic kind, non alcoholic, my liver is perfect, the cause is the intake of the Seroquel, they will try to say you're an alcoholic, not true, 900 mg a day will mess up your pancreas. My former psych. c[Show More]I took Seroquel for four years and started with acute pancreatitis, then it progressed to the chronic condition. I have to deal with IBS, Oteoporosis, and the painkillers. The pancreatitis is the idopathic kind, non alcoholic, my liver is perfect, the cause is the intake of the Seroquel, they will try to say you're an alcoholic, not true, 900 mg a day will mess up your pancreas. My former psych. closed down and did not release my records to my lawyers. I am part of a lawsuit too.

  • BarbFebruary 23, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Oh my gosh ! My brother has been taking Seroquel. He had told his doctor he did not like the side effects. Just this past weekend he was admitted through the ER with overdosage / improper combination of his meds. I fear the Seroquel played some part in his medication emergency.

  • RebeccaFebruary 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I was diagnosed as a type II diabetic two years ago. I had been taking Seroquel for approximately a year prior to the diagnosis.

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