Man Awarded $250K for Claim Meds Turned Him Into Gay Sex Addict
The pills made him do it.
At least according to a British court, which recently awarded a married man and father of two £160,000 ($256,4000 U.S.) after the drug he took to treat his Parkinson's disease turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict, the Mirror (U.K.) reports.
In 2003, Didier Jambart, 52, of Nantes, France, was prescribed Requip, a medication to treat his Parkinson's. In 2005, however, he says he started to develop cravings for sex with men and online gambling. Jambart's compulsions were so intense he went as far as selling his children's toys to fund his addictions, he claimed.
"After first taking the drugs I was bursting with energy. I would get up at four in the morning and run ten-and-a-half kilometres," Jambart said during the first hearing, according to the British newspaper the Sun. "Then my neurologist increased the dose and I completely lost the plot. I discovered Internet gambling, and at first it was just a bit of fun but I soon became addicted. In total I lost between £60,000 and £90,000 online."
He went on to say that at times he had urges to kill and that the pills turned him into a "hypersexual, gay, cross-dresser."
"I started seeking out sex with men and exhibiting myself on the internet," he said. "Those around me could simply not understand what was going on. It was only in 2006 that I discovered what was going on when I read a Canadian website. I sought help and was told of the side effects, and have expert medical advice that I was the victim of an addiction."
Lawyers argued that GlaxoSmithKline, the British company that makes Requip, knew that the pills had side effects but only started to put warnings on the medication's packaging in 2006. "It's been a seven-year battle," Jambart said, "GlaxoSmithKline lied to us and shattered our lives."
Jambart revealed that he would wear woman's clothing and arrange encounters with strangers. One hookup, however, went bad and resulted in him being raped, he said. Additionally, he spent his entire family's life savings in order to fund what he called his out-of-control gimbling and tried to take his own life eight times. In 2005, he finally stopped taking the medication when he associated his addictions with the drug.
A court initially ordered Galxo to pay Jambart £100,000 ($160,390). But after an appeal, the higher court upheld and raised the compensation to £160,000 ($256,4000).
YourLawyer.com describes Requip as a "popular medication used to control tremors associated with Parkinson's disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. Unfortunately, drugs like Requip have been associated with gambling addictions and other compulsive behaviors." The site goes on to say that most victims of the medication have not experienced obsessive or compulsive behaviors in the past and in almost every case, the "compulsive behavior subsided once Requip was discontinued."
Earlier this month, researchers seemed to make a breakthrough and possibly found what causes Parkinson's disease. According to ScienceNews.org, a harmful version of the alpha-synuclein protein "crawls through the brains of healthy mice, killing brain cells and damaging the animals' balance and coordination. If a similar process happens in humans, the results could eventually point to ways to stop Parkinson's destruction in the brain."