A former Navy Seal and his wife have filed a lawsuit against Hoffman-Roche alleging that the anti-malarial drug Lariam, or mefloquine, manufactured by the company has left the U.S. veteran permanently disabled after taking it while serving in Afghanistan. Plaintiffs are represented in the case by Kevin Boyle, Pete Kaufman, Jesse Creed and Greg Sonstein of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP and Benjamin L. Siminou of Siminou Appeals, Inc. READ THE COMPLAINT
Filed in Sonoma County Superior Court, U.S. Navy Veteran Andrew Sheets and his wife, Kristie, allege in the complaint that pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-LaRoche, known as Roche, was aware that the drug caused serious neurological and psychiatric side effects and failed to warn patients of the dangers. The plaintiff served his country from 2000 to 2006 and first took Lariam during deployment in 2003. He immediately experienced “violent and tragic nightmares” and later developed psoriasis, extreme paranoia, hallucination, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
In an interview with Military.com, Mr. Boyle shared that his client is one of many veterans who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and that his client was dismissed from the service for “adjustment disorder with depressed mood,” despite never having a mental health issue before — adding that Veteran Affair physicians, including those at the War Related Injury and Illness Study Center in Palo Alto, California, have indicated Sheets’ main symptoms are likely due to mefloquine exposure.
“We are aware that many veterans have been similarly affected and will explore bringing additional suits on their behalf as well,” Mr. Boyle said.