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One hundred percent of the money received from the sales of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal will benefit New Hope Foundation.
Author shines a bright light on an infamous class action lawsuit
Posted by: SHERRY KARABIN, Legal News Reporter on September 22, 2011; Akron Legal News
The headlines may have faded, but for personal injury attorney and former Akron area resident, Kip Petroff, the controversy and illnesses that resulted from the once popular diet cocktail, Fen-Phen, remain a vivid memory.
"People are still getting sick," said Petroff & Asociates Founding Partner, Petroff, who won the very first verdict in the case.
About six million overweight Americans used the drug combination in the mid 1990s. It contained two drugs, fenfluramine and phentermine; one suppressed the appetite and the other was a stimulant. While it proved very effective, fenfluramine was shown to cause potentially fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems in many patients.
As a result, in September of 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked the manufacturers, the Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories division of American Home Products Corporation to voluntarily pull fenfluramine (Pondomin), and its chemical cousin, dexfenfluramine (Redux), from the market. The news spread quickly, and in 1999, less than three months after Petroff's verdict, a group of trial lawyers negotiated a $4.8 billion class action settlement agreement with American Home Products Corporation.
The class action that followed is now one of the largest in history, costing American Home Products $22 billion so far. Even today the case is not completely closed as class members still have the remainder of the year to file claims.
The legal saga as well as Petroff's personal experiences surrounding the case, are now the subject of his first book, "Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal."
"The pharmaceutical company called it a miracle drug," said Suzi Zimmerman Petroff, who co-authored the book. She said, "the drug company knew about the side effects long before it was pulled from the market."
Petroff said he remembers his first verdict very well. His client was Debbie Lovett, and the case was decided in a state court in Van Zandt County, Texas in August of 1999.
Book Talk: Inside the fen-phen diet drug lawsuit
Written by Barbara McIntyre; January 29, 2012; ohio.com Akron Beacon Journal Online
You've seen the ads on television in which a law firm advertises for clients who have suffered because of negligence or malpractice. Copley High School and Kent State University alumnus Kip Petroff placed one of those ads. His book, Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal, is the story of his involvement as representative for tens of thousands of plaintiffs in a class-action suit against the manufacturers of the weight-loss drug known as fen-phen.
The pharmaceutical company now known as Wyeth began offering fen-phen, a combination of two drugs; one was found to cause heart valve leakage. When the FDA requested that fen-phen be removed from the market in 1997, Petroff looked for former users whose hearts had been damaged.
In Battling Goliath, he tells of the landmark case that set the precedent, and the monumental legal decision that resulted in ultimate victory. He also tells of the increasing amounts of vodka he was consuming, his marital problems and the huge amounts of cash he was investing in an outcome that was anything but guaranteed.
Battling Goliath (198 pages, hardcover) costs $24.95 through the author's web site, http://www.BattlingGoliath.com; all profits will benefit the New Hope Foundation, which raises money for impoverished families in the Dallas area, where Petroff lives.
Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal
Written by Jenny Block; January 24, 2012; huffingtonpost.com
If you didn't know it was real, you might think it was an episode of Law and Order. Fraud, threats, back alley pacts and over 400,000 victims. But, sadly, this story is the real thing. In the '90s, six million Americans took fen-phen, a diet pill combo that was billed as being "magic."
Turned out there was nothing magical about it, unless you consider almost half a million people suffering dire consequences magical. One man, attorney Kip Petroff, decided that the drug company who made the drug, Wyeth Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, had to pay.
Petroff spent more than a decade fighting. After battles that would make even Hollywood gasp, he won a $23 million verdict that led to 100,000 potential cases just in his firm.
And that wasn't the end. The more than 400,000 victims who registered for the original Class Action Settlement can still file for compensation "if their heart valve disease progresses to certain conditions by the earlier of December 31, 2011, or 15 years after their last date of diet drug usage."
As the founder and senior partner of Dallas-based Petroff & Associates and a board certified civil and personal injury trial lawyer, Petroff has been fighting against the big dogs for the little guys for more than twenty-five years.
Together with his wife Suzi Zimmerman Petroff, Kip wrote the book, Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal about the monumental legal battle that ensued when he took on Wyeth Ayerst Pharmaceuticals in the name of those who suffered from fen-phen and its dangerous promises and lies. All of the proceeds of Battling Goliath go right back to the cause.
Writer in residence: Kip Petroff
Posted by: Emily Toman on December 21, 2011; Preston Hollow Advocate
For more than a decade, Preston Hollow resident and lawyer Kip Petroff fought against a seemingly unbeatable Goliath - the corporate giant responsible for distributing the dangerous weight-loss drug Fen-Phen.
"This is a classic example of the Food and Drug Administration being bamboozled by the drug companies," Petroff says. In his sworn deposition testimony, retired FDA medical officer Dr. Leo Lutwak stated, "---the only way anything can be done to prevent this from happening again is by exposing it."
That's why Petroff wrote the book, "Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal," chronicling his experience with the case that resulted in a nationwide settlement. Petroff offers an inside look at how Fen-Phen made it to the market and the corruption that ensued as its maker, Wyeth, worked to cover up the drug's lethal side effects. The book reaches an audience far beyond the legal community, Petroff says.
Local lawyer takes on 'Goliath'
Written by Martha Tiller; December 7, 2011; whiterocklakeweekly.com
"Have you ever taken fen-phen?" While it may seem like a story from last decade, this is a question surgical patients must still sometimes answer on their pre-op paperwork, because yesterday's news is still today's heartache. Six million unsuspecting Americans took this "magic" diet drug pill combo in the 1990s. Almost half a million got sick - or worse. The fallout from drug company malfeasance continues.
"Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal" is a tell-all book by Kip Petroff, a gutsy Texas attorney who spent more than a decade fighting Wyeth Ayerst Pharmaceuticals and its lawyers on behalf of thousands of victims.
Fen-phen legal pugilist pays it forward
Published: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Dallas Morning News
Kip Petroff wrote a tell-all book to keep from reaching for his nightly bottle of Grey Goose vodka.
The founder and senior partner of Petroff & Associates LLP made a fortune leading the legal attack against Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, the makers of diet drugs Pondimin and Redux (a.k.a. fen-phen). Petroff filed the nation's first fen-phen personal injury lawsuit in the late 1990s.
But a decade of threats of both professional and financial annihilation - the kind of heavy-handed corporate intrigue and deceit befitting a John Grisham tale - took a severe personal toll.
Every evening, Petroff stewed alone at home, swigging down vodka and sometimes blacking out.
"As fen-phen spun out of control, so did my drinking," says Petroff, who went to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Jan. 24, 2007.
To fill the void at 5 o'clock, which had been his nightly happy hour, Petroff began writing his fen-phen memoirs - as therapy and payback.
Now he's using the book to pay it forward.
The 53-year-old plaintiff attorney is donating all the proceeds from his self-published Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal to fund programs at New Hope Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps unemployed people in one of Dallas' most impoverished neighborhoods finish high school and find work.
Petroff formed New Hope Foundation in late 2007.
"When you're praying to God, 'Get me out of this, and I'll never do wrong again,' and he does, you can't then say, 'Well, I didn't need you after all,'" he says.
Any CEO whose company has been a litigation target would do well to read this account of attorney Kip Petroff's 14-year-long crusade against Wyeth and American Home Products, makers of the fen-phen "miracle drug cocktail" for overweight people.
Petroff, founder and senior partner of Dallas-based Petroff & Associates, says he's been suing big companies on behalf of consumers for a quarter-century. But this case has obviously been his biggest.
When Housing Makes You Sick - Kip Petroff's Battling Goliath: Inside A $22 Billion Legal Scandal
Written by Candy Evans; December 2, 2011
Back room pacts, allegations, deceit, and basically screwing over thousands of people who had faith in the system? Are we talking about mortgages, the big banks again and their bailout? No, now we are talking about Dallas lawyer Kip Petroff of Petroff & Associates and his compelling story of how he held a corporate giant accountable for the blind greed that put six million lives at risk.