Man says psoriasis medication caused coma

Michelle Massey Jul. 12, 2010, 12:31pm

A Jefferson Parish resident is suing the manufacturer of a medication used to treat psoriasis, saying the medication caused him to go into a coma.

James David Beck filed suit against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited doing business as Teva Pharmaceuticals USA on July 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to court records, Beck was given a prescription of methotrexate 2.5 mg to treat psoriasis. After taking the prescribed medications, Beck claims he became gravely ill and was admitted into an intensive care unit with a Glasgow coma score of 15 with severe cognitive and physical impairments.

Beck states that the medication caused more medical problems than help it provided to his condition. He claims the medication caused him to have an absence of oxygen to his brain and severe damage to the nerve cells in the brainstem. He states that he requires 24 hour supervision and is now bound to a wheelchair due to his inability to walk.

The plaintiff argues the drug manufacturer is negligent and liable under the Louisiana Products Liability Act.

"The drug, methotrexate, is so strong that it should be used by physicians whose knowledge and experience include the use of antimetabolic therapy because of the possibility of serious toxic reactions which can be fatal and it has been reported to cause fetal death and/or congenital anomalies," the lawsuit states.

Beck is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish, lost earnings, damage to earning capacity, and physical impairment.

Beck is represented by LaPlace attorney Robert R. Faucheux, Jr.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01901

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