U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson has set the dates for two of eight bellwether trials chosen from the thousands of civil lawsuits filed across the country against Pfizer Inc over the Chantix, a drug designed to help people stop smoking.
The first bellwether is set to be heard on October 22 regarding a lawsuit filed by Judy Ann Whitely from Duluth, Minn alleging wrongful death after her husband committed suicide after taking Chantix.
The second scheduled trial will be heard January 22, 2013. The lawsuit was filed by the estate of Sandra Corey of Oregon and also alleges wrongful death. According to that lawsuit, Corey used Chantix less than a year when she shot and killed herself in July 2008.
A tentative third bellwether case was filed by Billy Bedsole Jr., and alleges that Chantix caused him to suffer severe anxiety, depression, erratic behavior, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and had to be hospitalized because of his use of Chantix.
The Birmingham News reports that 2,498 lawsuits have been filed nationwide against Pfizer over Chantix, with another 68 cases currently pending in New York state courts.