Product liability cases can run the gamut from household items to automobiles to medical devices and drugs. One particular drug, an antidepressant manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals and commonly known as “Lexapro,” recently came under fire in the case of Marcus v. Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Lexapro, which belongs to a class of antidepressants known as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” was first approved to treat adults for depression in 2002. It was later approved for use in adolescents.
The case was originally filed in a federal court in California in May 2013 and sought certification as a class action lawsuit. It was moved to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation because of ongoing multidistrict litigation there concerning Lexapro.
Allegations in the Plaintiffs’ Complaint
The plaintiffs in the case were parents whose adolescent son was prescribed Lexapro for depression in April 2009. The basis of their complaint was that the defendant pharmaceutical company omitted material efficacy information in violation of California state consumer protection laws. They averred that Lexapro’s label overestimated the effectiveness of the drug, thereby misleading both the parents and their son’s doctor. According to the parents, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted questionable and flawed data offered by the pharmaceutical company regarding Lexapro’s effectiveness for the treatment of adolescent depression. The parents further averred that Lexapro is, in actuality, “no more clinically effective than a placebo.” They sought to certify a class of all Californians who purchased Lexapro for an adolescent from March 2009 until present.