Judge Appoints Legal Team for Paxil Products Liability Litigation

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Judge appointed the members of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in charge of the Paxil Products Liability Litigation against SmithKline Beecham d.b.a. GlaxoSmithkline (GSK).

At a hearing held yesterday in Los Angeles, U.S. District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer appointed the members of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in charge of the MDL #1574 In re Paxil Products Liability Litigation against SmithKline Beecham d.b.a. GlaxoSmithkline (GSK).

On December 19, 2003 Baum Hedlund's motion to consolidate their Paxil withdrawal cases into Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) was granted. A Judicial Panel ordered that all the federal cases be sent to the Central District of California in Los Angeles. This ruling affects all Paxil withdrawal cases pending in federal courts across the country. There are approximately 1,500 Paxil withdrawal plaintiffs in over 30 states that are subject to this MDL but this number is rapidly growing as additional cases are transferred.

The attorneys appointed to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) to conduct the MDL consists of: Karen Barth Menzies of Baum Hedlund (Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) - Lead Counsel and PSC Member; Kevin Yourman of Weiss & Yourman (Los Angeles and New York) - Liaison Counsel and PSC Member; Chris Coffin of Pendley Law Firm (Plaquemine, Louisiana) - PSC Member and; Donald Farber of Law Office of Donald J. Farber (San Rafael, California) - PSC Member.

The Paxil withdrawal complaints include charges against GSK of intentional misrepresentation, fraud, negligence, strict liability, consumer fraud and express and implied warranty claims. Each of the victims suing GSK have experienced similar withdrawal reactions and problems such as: nausea, anxiety, dizziness, sensory disturbances (including paraesthesia, which is described as electric jolt sensations or "zaps" or a sensation of cramps), headache, vision distortion, sweating, agitation, fatigue, tremor, sleep disturbances (including intense dreams), confusion, palpitations, insomnia, irritability, digestive disorders, and asthenia.

There remains a handful of cases pending in state courts that are not subject to the ruling as well as many suicide cases involving adults and children.

The next step for the PSC is to prepare a litigation schedule to Judge Pfaelzer.

For background on the Paxil Withdrawal Litigation, please see: http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/Paxil/paxilupdate.htm.

Karen Barth Menzies is spearheading the Paxil withdrawal cases in the United States. Ms. Menzies, is a shareholder of the national law firm of Baum Hedlund and represents thousands of victims of Paxil. Her firm filed the first class action against the makers of Paxil, Glaxo SmithKline, in 2001 and has subsequently filed suits across the United States. Ms. Menzies also represents the families of victims (including children) who have committed suicide while under the influence of Paxil and Zoloft.

Baum Hedlund has been actively involved in SSRI litigation since 1990, including the widow of 1960s rock star, Del Shannon, and the family of comedian Phil Hartman and his wife, Brynn. They were also on the "Plaintiffs' Steering Committee" in the first SSRI-suicide litigation involving Prozac (the first SSRI approved by the FDA for marketing in the U.S.) in the early 1990s.

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