Sanofi-Aventis Can Inspect Phone of Ambien User Who Killed Himself

Bloomberg Law’s combination of innovative analytics, research tools and practical guidance provides you with everything you need to be a successful litigator.

By Tera Brostoff

The manufacturer of Ambien can inspect the computer and phone of a man who committed suicide while prescribed the drug, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada held Mar. 3 ( Kwasniewski v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC , 2017 BL 67145, D. Nev., No. 2:12-cv-00515-GMN-NJK, 3/3/17 ).

Jennifer Kwasniewski sued Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, the maker of sleep aid Ambien CR, after her husband Andrew committed suicide.

Sanofi-Aventis moved to compel inspection of Andrew Kwasniewski’s computer hard drive and mobile phone, in order to determine whether other stressors could have contributed to his suicide. The drug manufacturer also noted that the parties had agreed to a stipulated protocol for allowing the search.

The court granted the motion to compel, finding the requested discovery was both relevant and “proportional to the needs of the case.”

“The Court finds that the discovery that Defendant seeks is clearly relevant to the issues presented, specifically the decedent’s state of mind before his suicide, and any factors that contributed to his suicide,” the court said.

The court said Kwasniewski should allow the drug manufacturer access to her husband’s electronic devices as required under the stipulated protocol for forensic evaluation.

Murdock & Associates represented Kwasniewski.

Shook Hardy Bacon LLP represented Sanofi-Aventis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tera Brostoff in Washington at tbrostoff@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: S. Ethan Bowers at sbowers@bna.com

For More Information

Full text at http://src.bna.com/mOx.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Litigation on Bloomberg Law