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Zicam Lawsuits Still Coming

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Lawsuits continue to be filed on behalf of Zicam nasal cold remedy users who allegedly lost their sense of smell because of the product.

The latest was filed by Mary Pat Bollone of Illinois. She is seeking $500,000 from Matrixx Initiatives, as well as court costs and punitive damages. Her complaint alleges that because of her use of Zicam in March 2008, Ballone sustained permanent loss of smell and taste; suffered disability, loss of a normal life, pain, suffering and extreme emotional distress; and incurred medical costs.

Last summer, Matrixx Initiatives recalled nasal remedy products: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs. The company had previously withdrawn Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size. The recall followed an alert from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The agency said it had received 130 reports of anosmia—loss of sense of smell—in people who had used the product. At the same time, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to Matrixx. In the letter, the FDA said Matrixx had failed to inform it of 800 anosmia reports linked to the recalled cold remedies.

This is not the first time Matrixx has been involved in litigation involving Zicam nasal remedies and their alleged association with loss of the sense of smell. In 2006 the company reached a settlement with 300 Zicam users who claimed their use of the nasal remedies caused anosmia.

Last summer’s Zicam recall has prompted a number of similar suits around the country. Zicam lawsuits pending in federal courts have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation, under U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone in the District of Arizona.

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