On Thursday of last week, a federal appeals court unanimously voted to reinstate a shareholder lawsuit against Matrixx Initiatives, the makers of the popular cold remedy Zicam. The lawsuit claims that the shareholders of the company did not disclose information that the drug was potentially harmful to the public and instead issued incorrect and misleading statements. Judge Tashima, a part of the three-judge panel that decided to reinstate the case, commented that the case was erroneously thrown out in 2004, and questions of if Matrixx Initiatives had withheld information should be decided by a jury.
The lawsuit primarily concerns a 2003 University of Colorado study, which focused on the development of loss of smell of ten patients using Zicam. The researchers planned to present their findings at a science conference in September 2003 but were informed by Matrixx that they could not use the Zicam name in their presentation. Consequently, the public was not informed about the dangers of Zicam until February 2004 on the TV show Good Morning America. However, Zicam continued to issue positive statements about the drug. In addition, Matrixx did not disclose in their SEC reports that a Zicam user had filed a lawsuit because of loss of smell and that more lawsuits may have been forthcoming.
Four months ago, Matrixx withdrew two forms of Zicam cold remedy, the nasal gel and nasal swabs, from the market. The company announced in January that it would be paying out $12 million to the 340 plaintiffs who had filed a lawsuit over inadequate warnings that loss of smell might result from usage of the drug.
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If you or someone you know has suffered a loss of smell from taking Zicam nasal gel or Zicam nasal swabs, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today. Our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys will provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and explain your legal rights.