February 18, 2003 - First Baycol Trial Begins in Texas

The first trial in the United States involving the withdrawn cholesterol medication Baycol began this week in Corpus Christi, Texas. The plaintiff, retired engineer Hollis Haltom, alleges Baycol caused him to develop rhabdomyolysis, a severe muscle disorder that can lead to kidney damage and liver failure. Haltom claims he took samples of the medication for two weeks before the condition appeared. Baycol was removed from the U.S. market in August 2001.

Haltom's attorneys claim Bayer created Baycol quicker than it should have in 1997 because the company was in "financial straits" and the statin industry was a $24 billion a year market. Attorneys also say Bayer failed to properly warn consumers about Baycol's dangerous side effects.

To date, Bayer has lost over $840 million in operating earnings due to the medication's withdrawal and is facing nearly 8,000 lawsuits over the drug.


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