Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal is the compelling true story of one man's quest to hold a corporate giant accountable for the blind greed that put six million lives at risk.

The Book

Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal


Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal is the compelling true story of one man's quest to hold a corporate giant accountable for the blind greed that put six million lives at risk. Wyeth, the makers of fen-phen, circumvented Food and Drug Administration regulations to push their miracle drug cocktail on overweight consumers. They then engaged in a complex cover-up of dangerous side effects fearing an FDA backlash. Fen-phen was finally pulled from pharmacy shelves but only after the mounting deaths and illnesses became too numerous to ignore.

With his Midwestern work ethic and fighter's spirit, attorney Kip Petroff passionately led the charge in courtrooms across the country despite the toll on his personal and professional life. His aggressive strategy resulted in the first verdict, an historic award that ultimately led to a nationwide settlement. But the corruption that followed would test his early commitment to bring justice to the drugs' victims. The massive class action would drag on for more than a decade, spawning a host of shadowy back-room pacts, threats, allegations, and deceit.

Relying on his principles and leaning heavily on his faith, Petroff persevered for himself and his clients. His inspirational story is proof that each of us has the power to stand up to Goliath, whoever and whatever it may be.


"A sobering look behind the scenes of real life mass tort litigation."

Frank Andrews, Special Master, MDL-926 | (Silicone Gel Breast Implant Litigation)

"Battling Goliath is a well-written description by a lawyer with an insider's perspective of one of the major products liability fiascos of the past decade. Kip Petroff's book contains insights on what went wrong with the testing and marketing of fen-phen, and then of the complicated litigation that ensued to provide compensation for the many victims. This book offers valuable lessons for litigators and for the governmental bodies and agencies regulating, or failing to regulate, the pharmaceutical industry, as well as for the public that relies on them to protect our health."

Joseph P. Bauer, Professor of Law | University of Notre Dame Law School

"A deeply moving account of how one lawyer experienced and overcame threats, intimidation, and the near dismantling of his personal life during this inexcusable decade-long debacle."

Lewis J. Rubin, MD | La Jolla, California

"Without Kip Petroff, I would not be alive to read this book. This remarkable, true story serves as a testament that we all have the ability to seize the opportunities for greatness God gives to us. Petroff seized his, and because of that, I am alive to seize mine. I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes in, or aspires to believe in, the power of the pursuit of truth at all costs."

Jim Sartor, Fen-Phen Victim and Petroff & Associates Client

"Sui generis! A new genre of legal writing ... a gripping true story of one lawyer's obsession with seeking justice, revealing the human drama and its personal tolls. Dallas Plaintiff Attorney Kip Petroff's Battling Goliath is a modern-day parable of triumph over deceit and greed in the netherworld of America's mass tort litigation.

Petroff's saga meticulously details his decade-long quest for justice for the hundreds of thousands of injured victims of fen-phen, the inherently dangerous diet drug of the 1990s, manufactured and marketed by a huge and powerful pharmaceutical company. This unique first-person insight into the human tragedies spawned by the drug company provides a classic story of betrayal, downfall, and redemption.

With an engaging narrative in his debut expository storytelling, Petroff skillfully weaves the Byzantine maneuvering of his opposing legal titans confronting his passionate dedication for the victims whose hearts and lungs were irreparably damaged. His brutally honest style spares none, including himself, as he portrays the tragedies, grief, sorrow, and destroyed lives radiating from the wrongdoing of a pharmaceutical Goliath and its masters.

And ultimately, Battling Goliath is a cautionary tale for any society of the moral hazards of concentrated and unchecked power and wealth in the hands of a few. Battling Goliath is a must-read for patients, doctors, governmental regulators, lawyers, and anyone taking prescription medications."

R. Darryl Fisher, MD, JD | Cardiovascular Surgeon & Attorney, Oklahoma City

"For people struggling to lose weight, the promise of a miracle pill is all too enticing. The pharmaceutical giant, Wyeth, took advantage of those desires in the name of profit, bringing the drug fen-phen to market with known deadly consequences to those taking it. This book is a compelling true life tale of the battle to bring justice to those without a voice and the immense toll it took on one man willing to take on Goliath."

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT | Founder Living Well Health & Wellness | Author of Cleanse: Detox Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Exposing Pharmaceutical Deceit, November 15, 2011

"I encourage you to read this account of one man's courageous battle against the pharmaceutical conspiracy that has taken over this country. Kip Petroff exposes one company's crimes, educating you on how they knowingly sacrifice the public's health - and at times lives - for their personal financial gain. What's even more shocking is that the institutions put in place to protect consumers from these deadly medicines are also criminals in themselves. He has detailed the decade-long series of events in a refreshing and brutally honest style. God Bless Kip for his courage to battle for the victims of this horrific crime, all the while putting himself at risk of threats, allegations and deceit."

Review by Tina on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

Excellent...!, December 14, 2011

"With integrity and professionalism, Mr. Petroff embarks on a decade long fight to hold drug giant, Wyeth accountable for putting six million lives at risk with their drug fen-phen. I was impressed with the author's honesty about his personal life and, even more so, his tenacious commitment to the patients. Proceeds from book sales go to: Which is very cool! "

Review by Jim on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

Never Give Up, December 6, 2011

"Kip Petroff takes you on a long journey to find truth. No matter how many twists and turns this case took and the efforts of others to ruin him, he never stopped fighting. It is a refreshing story about helping people. Highly recommended!"

Review by Bruce B. on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

A thriller that out-Grishams Grisham, December 6, 2011

"I met Kip Petroff several years ago in the early stages of a book about trial lawyers, and especially those who do class acton litigation. His name had come up in conjunction with cases involving a drug combination called "fen-phen" which was supposed to help people lose weight. Alas, one side effect was serious heart damage, hence the manufacturer was up to its neck in law suits around the country.

My early focus has been on a massive class action suit being heard in Federal district court in Philadelphia, an action brought in the name of any person in the country who claimed to have been harmed by fen-phen. But the class action seemed to be staggering under the weight of endloess motions and counter-motions, and angry disputes among the plaintiff lawyers about should control the Plaintiffs Management Committee, which would control the litigation (and also claim a lion's shares of fees awarded by the court). One person descirbed the wrangling as "akin to a dick-measuring contest."

So I went to Dallas and sought out Kip, who had the audacity to eschew the class action, and to take cases for individuals. He had brought several to trial in Texas courts, winning some box-car verdicts. Further, through discovery he had amassed a trove of documents from the manufacturer which documented some shoddy behavior over the years, chiefly ih concealing the harm done to certain individuals by fen-phen.

Kip was an appealing lone-wolf, and I decided right away that he deserved more attention than the class action tycoons. The two camps were mutualy dismissive of one anoher.One class action fellow derided Kip as a "two-bit lawyer who is just keeping in the way." When I passed this remark on to Kip, he growled, then grin and said, "Ask that guy just how much money he has recovered for a person who needs it RIGHT NOW, while he or she is still alive."

As a trial lawyer, Kip must have the ability to make complex issues -- medical matters and the like -- comprehensible to lay juries. He did so in his Texas trials. And he does so in this book. A five-star read, and I hope that it is a stockig-stuffer item this Christmas for anyone in law school -- or, for that matter, for anyone practwicing law."

Joseph C. Goulden
Washington, DC

Review by Joseph C. Goulden on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

An inspirational story, December 5, 2011

"Battling Goliath is such an inspirational story by a man who isn't afraid to admit he made a few mistakes. Everyone who reads this book should feel encouraged to follow their beliefs. It's a great read!"

Review by T. Deegan "Deegan" on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

Another take on the 1%... totally relevant today!, December 3, 2011

"Recently read Battling Goliath written by Kip Petroff, the attorney who was prominent in taking on the drug company responsible for bringing fen-phen to market--despite major concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Years ago I read Dispensing with the Truth, the book written about the first trials, and enjoyed it. Battling Goliath gives us a new perspective on the fen-phen debacle. Not filled with legal jargon, but instead a personal narrative of what it was like to represent the 99% against the 1%. Definitely fitting given what is taking place today with the Occupy movements. I am glad there are still Kip Petroffs in world to fight for the 99%!"

Review by Maureen Collins on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

This is a fascinating story, December 2, 2011

"This is a fascinating story of a man who is a true fighter from the DNA deep in his bones to the scales of justice. As our government is less willing to rein in corporate greed-is-good behavior out of fear of hurting the economy, we need more defenders who are willing take on the tough cases and draw lines in the sand. The legal battlefield has become a place where overpowering money and not justice rules the day. It is stories like this one that give me dreams of hope."

Review by KJB on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

Great Read!!, November 28, 2011

"Kip takes his readers with him on his personal journey for justice against corrupt corporate America. Along the way, he finds out that it's not just corporate America that is corrupted by greed. It is a job well done."

Review by Charlie H. on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

Battling Goliath, November 28, 2011

"Part legal thriller, part memoir, Battling Goliath provides an illuminating glimpse behind the scenes of contemporary big-ticket litigation. In the genre of Alicia Mundy's Dispensing with the Truth, and Snigdha Prakash's All the Justice Money Can Buy, it's an engaging and significant contribution to our understanding of mass torts."

Review by Nora Engstrom on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal

battling goliath, November 18, 2011

"I read the book and finished it in three hours. My family would walk by and say,"She is STILL reading??!! I think she's going to finish the book!"--and I did! It's rare if I ever finish a book - I have a very hard time staying interested. As a business owner I was so IMPRESSED and INSPIRED by Kip Petroff's ultimate PERSEVERANCE to hold people ACCOUNTABLE. We need more people like Kip to get our country back to"Best Business Principles."

Review by Kim on of Battling Goliath: Inside a $22 Billion Legal Scandal