Ambien is a drug prescribed to individuals that suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is the scientific term for difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep. In the US, approximately thirty percent of adults report experiencing insomnia symptoms at some point each year. Additionally, ten percent of US adults deal with insomnia symptoms on a regular basis.
More than 24 million Ambien prescriptions were written in 2004. This number has gone down since the introduction of generic versions of Ambien in 2007. However, Ambien remains one of the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills in the US. Despite being prescribed quite often, Ambien is associated with a number of serious side effects. As a result, a number of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Ambien by consumers of the drug.
Many of the Ambien lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of Ambien, are based on claims involving Ambien-induced memory loss and sleepwalking. Although these are relatively rare side effects of Ambien, these behaviors can result in personally injury. In a few cases, large class action Ambien lawsuits have been filed. In class action Ambien lawsuits, a number of plaintiffs band together in order to file a lawsuit
Bowman v. Sanofi-Aventis:
In Bowman v. Sanofi-Aventis, an Ambien lawsuit filed in Texas in 2009, Bowman sued Sanofi-Aventis due events which occurred after taking Ambien. In the case, Bowman claimed to have taken Ambien around 9 P.M. He then woke up and left home in his company car, leaving his two his two minor daughters alone at home. Later that night, he crashed the company vehicle and was charged with driving under the influence. He claimed that his personal damages were a result of sleep driving, and that Sanofi-Aventis had failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks of sleep driving.
Hartman v. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories:
Zolpidem is the active ingredient in Ambien; therefore, it is the active ingredient in generic versions of Ambien as well. In Hartman vs. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Kimberly Hartman was prescribed Ambien by her doctor and was given a generic version of the drug at the pharmacy. Hartman subsequently got into a serious car accident during a period of time when she was taking Ambien.
Hartman sued Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories. She claimed that they failed to adequately warn her about the dangers that accompanied taking zolpidem. Additionally, she claimed that the product was insufficiently labeled with warnings about the drug’s side effects.
In 2006, a plaintiff named Janet Makinen filed a suit against Sanofi-Aventis. Makinen had begun taking Ambien in 1998. Within a few weeks, she began having episodes of sleep eating. During these episodes, Makinen would enter a half waking state and wander into the kitchen. Once there, she consumed large volumes of both cooked and uncooked foods. As a result, Makinen claimed she gained a substantial amount of weight.
Like many Ambien lawsuits, Mikinen sued Sanofi-Aventis for failure to adequately warn about the dangers of sleep waling which may accompany Ambien consumption. Mikanen’s Ambien lawsuit was joined by over 500 other plaintiffs in a class action law suit. This cohort sought personal damages as a result of sleepwalking incidents after taking Ambien.
Filing Ambien Lawsuits
Ambien lawsuits have been filed by consumers for a variety of reasons. Many Ambien lawsuits have focused on the potential sleepwalking effects of Ambien. However, recent research has suggested a link between the use of sleeping pills such as Ambien and an increased risk of both death and cancer. This new research has opened up another potential source of Ambien lawsuits. The decision to file an Ambien lawsuit is best made with the assistance of a qualified attorney.