(CN) – The 5th Circuit rejected expert testimony that GlaxoSmithKline’s Requip, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, caused a man to gamble away millions of dollars. “[B]ecause the experts’ opinions are not scientifically reliable, the testimony is inadmissible – leaving the liability cupboard bare,” the court wrote.
Dr. Max Wells sold his pathology clinic in 2005 for a “sizeable sum” and moved to Las Vegas to retire. He claimed he gambled responsibly until he switched from Mirapex to Requip, based on his doctor’s warning that Mirapex might cause problem gambling.
From September 2005 to January 2006, he allegedly lost $10 million, including $4 million in January alone. He stopped taking Requip and has not been back to Vegas.
Wells sued GlaxoSmithKline, claiming it failed to warn him about the side effect of pathological gambling.
His three expert witnesses tried to connect Requip and pathological gambling, but ultimately conceded that there’s no scientifically reliable evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship.
The drug maker moved for summary judgment, which the district court granted and the New Orleans-based appellate panel affirmed.
“None [of the expert witnesses] did more than baldly assert that Requip can cause problem gambling,” Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote for the three-judge panel. “At their depositions, the three admitted that no scientific basis existed to confirm their conclusions.”