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After a January FDA warning about possible safety risks with testosterone replacement therapy, many men have filed testosterone lawsuits against manufacturers of drugs like AndroGel, Testim, Depo-Testosterone, and more. Recently, plaintiffs filed a new case (1:14-cv-02495) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that defendants AbbVie Inc., Abbot Laboratories, Lily USA Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company engaged in aggressive marketing that misled consumers about the drug’s safety and efficacy, resulting in some men suffering serious injuries.

Father Dies of Heart Attack

According to court documents, the plaintiff, a Delaware man, was appointed as administrator of his father’s estate on April 4, 2014. His father had passed away of a heart attack on April 17, 2012.

At the time, his family had no reason to believe that the drugs he had taken—which included testosterone replacement therapies Axiron and AndroGel—might have had something to do with his unexpected death. The plaintiff blames the defendants for failing to provide adequate safety warnings with their products, and for misrepresenting them as being free from serious side effects.

After the FDA warning, however, and the publication of studies linking use of testosterone therapy with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the plaintiff began to suspect the drugs may have had something to do with his father’s death.

Plaintiff Claims Failure to Warn

The plaintiff’s father took AndroGel from October 2011 through January 2012, and also used Axiron from about April 2, 2012 until the time of his death. He was about 58 years old when he started using the products for symptoms he believed, after viewing the defendants’ advertisements, were linked to a low level of testosterone.

He had no history of heart disease or heart problems, yet a heart attack caused his death on April 17, 2012. The plaintiff claims that had the defendants properly disclosed the risks associated with testosterone replacement therapy, his father could have avoided the risk of heart attack by either refusing to take the drugs at all, or by severely limiting the dose and length of use.

Defendants Allegedly Misled the General Population

The FDA has approved the use of testosterone replacement therapy only for men with a diagnosed low level of testosterone caused by a medical condition. Plaintiffs in many cases, however, argue that the manufacturers of these drugs advertised them as helpful for men suffering from fatigue and other symptoms that may not have anything to do with testosterone levels at all.

According to this case, the defendants started marketing their products in 2000, allegedly “misleading potential users about the prevalence and symptoms of low testosterone” while failing to disclose the serious risks. They went so far as to cause consumers to believe that testosterone deficiency was common in U.S. men with symptoms such as stress, depression, fatigue, and other conditions associated with normal aging.

The plaintiff also alleges that the defendants “deceived potential testosterone users” by including testimonials from professional athletes and “manipulating hypogonadism statistics to suggest widespread disease prevalence.”

Finally, the plaintiff claims the defendants failed to mention potential cardiac or stroke side effects. He brings counts of failure to warn, negligence, breach of warranties, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and wrongful death, and seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages.

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