A Parkinson’s sufferer has won a six figure pay-out against a drug giant after his medication turned him into a ‘gay sex and gambling addict’.
Didier Jambart had been a well respected man, an upstanding member of the community in Nantes, western France, and a loving father and husband.
But within two years of taking the drug Requip he was so addicted to both his vices he sold his children’s toys to raise money and advertised himself on the internet for sex. He has now been given £160,000 in damages after a court in Rennes, France, upheld his claims.
The ground-breaking ruling was made yesterday by the appeal court, which awarded the damages to Mr Jambart from GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceuticals giant.
With his wife Christine beside him, Mr Jambart, 52, broke down in tears as judges upheld his claim that his life had become ‘hell’ after he started taking Requip, a drug made by GSK.
He told reporters ‘this is a great day’ after the court threw out the firm’s appeal against an earlier ruling to award him 117,000 euros.
The court increased the level of damages to 197,468.83 euros after finding that there was ‘serious, precise and corroborated’ evidence to blame his transformation on Requip.
Mr Jambart said: ‘It’s been a seven-year battle with our limited means for recognition of the fact that GSK lied to us and shattered our lives.’
He added: ‘I am happy that justice has been done. I am happy for my wife and my children. I am at last going to be able to sleep at night and profit from life. ‘
But he added that the money he was awarded was not like winning the lottery, and said: ‘This will never replace the years of pain.’
The court heard that Mr Jambart began taking Requip for Parkinson’s disease in 2003.
The formerly well respected bank manager, local councillor and a father of two from Nantes in western France, had tried to commit suicide eight times after he turned into a sex-crazed gambling addict.
He told the court that he had emptied his bank account, sold his children’s toys and stolen money from work colleagues, friends and neighbours.
In total he gambled away a total of 82,000 euros, mostly placing internet bets on horse races, and engaged in a ‘frantic search for gay sex’.
He began exhibiting himself on internet websites and arranging encounters, one of which resulted in him being raped.
He said his family had not understood what was going on at first.
But his behaviour returned to normal when he stumbled upon a website that made the link between Requip and addictions in 2005, and stopped taking the drug.
He said : ‘My life was hell. It still is because you cannot forget a catastrophe like that.’
The court heard that warnings about Requip’s side-effects had been made public in 2006. Mr Jambart said that GSK should have informed patients earlier.
He conceded that Requip was a ‘good medicine’ and offered undeniable solutions to people with Parkinson’s disease.
But he said the rules of the game ‘must be transparent’.
During the trial, GlaxoSmithKline had said it had ‘serious doubts’ that Mr Jambart had developed his addictions after taking the drug.