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Keller v. Pfizer, Inc.

Other Lower Courts

February 8, 2008

Donald A. Keller and Gail S. Keller, Plaintiffs,
v.
Pfizer, Inc., Defendant. Charles A. Buie and Mary C. Halfacre-Buie, Plaintiffs,

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

COUNSEL

Plaintifs: Kline and Specter, PC

Defendant: Kaye Scholer, LLP

OPINION

Doris Ling-Cohan, J.

Donald A. and Gail S. Keller, residents of California, and Charles A. Buie and Mary C. Halfacre-Buie, residents of Arizona, bring these product liability/personal injury actions against Pfizer, Inc., the manufacturer of the drug Viagra., claiming that Donald Keller and Charles Buie developed ischemic optic neuropathy after taking the drug. Pfizer moves to dismiss both actions on the ground of forum non conveniens, pursuant to CPLR 327, contending that New York is an inconvenient forum and that this action should be litigated in the plaintiffs' home states. For the reasons stated below, Pfizer's motions are granted with certain conditions.

BACKGROUND

The Keller Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Donald A. Keller and his wife, Gail S. Keller, are residents of Los Alamitos, California. Complaint 1. Donald Keller alleges that his doctor prescribed Viagra for erectile dysfunction. Id. 3. He was provided with a prescription for Viagra from one physician, Dr. Andrew Manos, who is located in Long Beach, California. Pls. Interr. Answers, at p. 2. He filled his prescriptions for the drug at the Walgreens Pharmacy in Cypress, California. Id. He alleges to have ingested the drug only on four occasions between July 14, 2004 and January 31, 2005, three times at his home and once on vacation in Rancho Mirage, California. Id. at p. 3.

Donald Keller alleges that he suffered vision loss in his left eye on January 31, 2005, and was subsequently diagnosed with non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (Complaint 3), a degenerative eye condition that leads to a loss of vision (Leskin Aff. 2). He was treated by four physicians and a ophthalmologist group, all located in California. Pls. Interr. Answers, at p. 3. He has identified only his wife Gail as a witness in this action. Id., at p. 4.

The Buie/Buie-Halfacre Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs Charles A. Buie and his wife, Mary Halfacre-Buie, are residents of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Complaint 1. Charles Buie alleges that he took Viagra from approximately July 1998 to February 2006, as prescribed by his doctors for erectile dysfunction. Id. 3. He was provided with a prescription for Viagra from two physicians, one located in Washington, D.C. and one is his hometown of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Pls. Interr. Answers, at p. 2. He filled his prescriptions for the drug at Walgreens Pharmacy in Lake Vavasu City, Arizona and at "CVS Pharmacy - Eastern Region" and Rite Aid Pharmacy - Midwest Regions. " Id. at p. 3. As a background vocalist for Ms. Patti Labelle, Charles Buie alleges that he traveled all over the world for 12-plus years and that he used his prescription for Viagra at various locations during his travels, but that after he and his wife married in September of 2003, from that time forward, Viagra was used on occasions when they were together. Id. at p. 3.

Plaintiff alleges that he suffered vision loss in his right eye in February of 2006 and was subsequently diagnosed with arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy. Complaint 3. He was treated by three physicians, all of whom are located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Pls. Interr. Answers, at p. 3. He has identified two people, his wife Mary ...


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