Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that results in muscle cell breakdown and the release of the contents of muscle cells into the bloodstream. In very rare cases, rhabdomyolysis may result in kidney damage and other organ damage, which may be fatal.
Baycol and Rhabdomyolysis
In the early 2000s, reports came in describing fatal cases of rhabdomyolysis in association with the use of the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol (cerivastatin). On August 8, 2001, Baycol was withdrawn from the U.S. market. Baycol-induced fatal rhabdomyolysis occurred most frequently in three instances: when the drug was used at higher doses, when it was used in elderly patients, and particularly, when it was used in combination with gemfibrozil (LOPID and generics included). In non-fatal instances, Baycol caused severe muscular injuries and even kidney failure.
Since the withdrawal, thousands of cases have been filed against Bayer over Baycol injuries, with over $1 billion in damage settlements having been negotiated with victims. If you or someone you know was affected by Baycol induced rhabdomyolysis, please contact a qualified product liability attorney for help. There may be a case against the manufacturer of Baycol for which you or the affected persons are entitled to damages.
First, however, you will want to identify whether Baycol was taken and whether subsequent medical issues fit the rhabdomyolysis clinical profile. If you have access to medical records, check those to confirm, but if not, you can conduct a cursory assessment of the disease.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include the following:
The pain may involve specific groups of muscles or may be generalized throughout the body. Most frequently, the involved muscle groups are the calves and lower back; however, some patients report no symptoms of muscle injury or pain.
The Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations that applies to different claims – assault, breach of contract, product liability, medical malpractice, and more. A statute of limitations basically sets a deadline for plaintiffs to file their claims with the court. If the deadline is not met, then the claim is no longer valid.
Depending on your state, the statute of limitations for Baycol or other defective products will run for either two or three years, and it will begin to run either when the injury first occurred or when the injury is first discovered. You should confirm whether you or the affected persons reside in a state where the statute of limitations runs from when the injury is first discovered – this is known as the discovery rule. If not, then it’s unlikely that the Baycol claim will be valid, as Baycol was recalled in 2001, and is highly improbable that a victim has suffered their first injury in the past two to three years.
The likeliest scenario for a present-day Baycol claim is if a person suffered severe side effects (or death) as a result of Baycol-induced rhabdomyolysis, but no doctor correctly identified the disease. For example, if you suffered kidney dysfunction as a result of Baycol use, but didn’t have your kidney dysfunction linked to a diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis, and if you reside in a state where product defect statute of limitations start to run only upon injury discovery, then it is possible that you have a valid claim. You should speak with a product liability attorney to learn more about your legal options.
If you or someone you know has received Baycol from a treating physician after the drug was withdrawn in 2001, then there may be a cause of action for medical malpractice. Physicians have a duty to provide their patients with a reasonable standard of care. Providing a drug to a patient that was withdrawn from the market for its dangerousness most likely violates that reasonable standard of care.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.