St. Louis man files class action over potentially contaminated high blood pressure drug

By Charmaine Little | Sep 13, 2018

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man recently filed a class action lawsuit against a number of pharmaceutical companies regarding the manufacture and distribution of a generic prescription drug that was recently recalled because of potential contamination.

James Jones filed the suit Sept. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a Chinese corporation; Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc., a Deleware corporation; Solco Healthcare U.S. LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and Huahai US Inc., a New Jersey corporation. 

The suit claims the defendants each took part in manufacturing, distributing, and selling the drug valsartan, which is used to help treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The suit said a number of manufacturing deficiencies resulted in the drugs being contaminated with an organic impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine, and because of this contamination, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) put out a voluntary recall for a number of the brands that sold the generic version of valsartan. This included the medications the defendants manufactured and released.

“Plaintiff and the putative class members were injured by the full purchase price of their valsartan-containing medications and incidental medical expenses,” Jones said in the lawsuit. “These medications are worthless, as they are contaminated with carcinogenic and harmful N-nitrosodimethylamine and not fit for human consumption.”

Jones and the class members were recommended to stop taking the valsartan-containing medications. They are suing on 10 counts, including violation of Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, strict products liability, failure to warn, breach of contract, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment, negligence, and gross negligence. 

They asked the court for equitable and economic relief as well as restitution. They also want to go to trial in front of a jury.

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