EDMOND, Oklahoma - September 27, 2004 - Dennis Dill, an attorney
with Chris Harper, Inc., a multi-practice law firm in Edmond, Oklahoma
filed a lawsuit against American Home Products, Wyeth and Fort Dodge
Animal Health in Tulsa, Oklahoma District Court on September 22,
The lawsuit alleges that American Home Products,
Wyeth and Fort Dodge Animal Health recklessly introduced ProHeart®6,
an injectable heartworm preventative medication, to the market without
giving consumers proper warning that their product could cause serious
health risks or even death to canines.
On September 3, 2004, the FDA recalled ProHeart®6.
This recall received extensive media coverage. Fort Dodge, at the
request of the FDA, is also ceasing production while continuing
to conduct research to determine the cause of related adverse reactions.
The FDA also instructed the company to develop a strategy to help
prevent such problems in the future before the product is marketed
again. The FDA will convene an independent scientific advisory committee
to thoroughly evaluate all available data.
Chris Harper, Inc. has asked the Court for a class
action status due to the numerous complaints that have been filed
with the FDA Center for Veterinary Care, which is estimated at over
5,000 throughout the United States (around 10 percent are deaths).
The Plaintiff in this lawsuit is June Dill, an 80-year-old
grandmother who took her companion, "Baby," an 8-year-old
Yorkshire Terrier, to a local veterinarian for a preventative check-up.
After being told that ProHeart®6 was a safe, preventative heartworm
medication, she allowed the vet to inject "Baby" with
ProHeart®6. It is alleged in the Petition that due to the injection
of ProHeart®6, in just a few short weeks, "Baby" died
as a result of complications caused by ProHeart®6.
Chris Harper, Inc. has filed this Petition to assist
pet owners, such as June Dill, who have either had their companions
injured or watched them pass away due to the complications of ProHeart®6.
To date, the Companion Animal Protection Society
(CAPS), a national animal protection organization based in Fort
Collins, Colorado, has gathered around 90 complaints from people
whose dogs have become very ill or died after receiving a ProHeart®6
shot. The most common reactions listed in these complaints are seizures,
liver problems, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), Hemorrhagic
Gastroenteritis (HGE) and Thrombocytopenia Vasculitis.
CAPS has been generating news stories around the
country that feature consumers whose dogs suffered adverse reactions,
including death, after receiving ProHeart®6. You can read more
about ProHeart®6 on the CAPS website: http://www.caps-web.org/.