Cases & Deals

Wyeth obtains defense verdict in product liability litigation involving antidepressant Effexor

Client(s) Wyeth, Inc.

Jones Day successfully represented Wyeth, Inc. in a product liability action involving antidepressant, Effexor. The plaintiff alleged that her husband's ingestion of Wyeth's antidepressant Effexor caused him to commit suicide. Following a three-week jury trial, the jury deliberated for three hours before rendering a unanimous defense verdict.

On February 12, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the judgment in Giles v. Wyeth, 556 F.3d 596 (7th Cir. 2009). In the appeal, the plaintiff argued that the jury heard less than the "whole truth" because the trial court erred in (1) excluding suicide-related warnings added to Effexor's labeling after Mr. Giles' October 2002 suicide, while (2) simultaneously allowing the introduction of evidence relating to post-October 2002 scientific developments. Rejecting the first claim, the Seventh Circuit observed that "[t]he tendency of the later warnings to prove that Wyeth knew of an increased risk of suicidality...was essentially nil in this case." Id. at 601. The court found the plaintiff's second claim no more persuasive, noting that "[t]he question at trial...was whether Effexor caused [Mr. Giles] to take his life. If later studies shed light on that answer, all the better." Id. at 602.

Giles v. Wyeth, Inc., 556 F.3d 596 (7th Cir. 2009)