Five years ago Sheila Muniz says her husband Eddie made a decision that would change her family forever. He asked a doctor for psoriasis medicine.
The doctor prescribed him Raptiva, a drug made by Genentech.
"His skin started to turn a bit of yellow, jaundiced. We went to our doctor, and then the emergency room. He never left," said Sheila Muniz.
Muniz says the drug shut down her husband's kidneys and liver. The previously healthy dad died at 38-years-old, weeks after starting the medication.
"There is no healing from this I will suffer from this until the day I die," said Sheila Muniz.
Eddie Muniz wasn't the only person who died after taking Raptiva. In 2009 the FDA sent out a statement announcing that the maker took the drug off the market because it was dangerous.
When Muniz tried to sue,several attorneys turned her away because she is from Michigan. Michigan law gives pharmaceutical companies immunity from lawsuits connected to FDA approved drugs.
"Its ridiculous," said attorney Alyson Oliver. "It is insane to think that a company isn't held accountable."
Oliver took Muniz's case because she says it is the right thing to do. The case is currently before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Oliver says the case gives Muniz a voice, but it may or may not give her justice due to Michigan's unique law.
As for why the law giving pharmaceutical companies some immunity exists, it was meant to encourage drug companies to invest in Michigan. It was also meant to prevent frivolous lawsuits.
Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, says it didn't work. Drug companies have moved many jobs out of Michigan in recent years. She says lawmakers need to protect residents, not pharmaceutical companies.
"I have gotten calls from people around Michigan," says Brown. "They say my son has been hurt. My husband has been hurt.I have been hurt. What can i do? There is no recourse that they can have."
Representative Brown says she has introduced a bill that would take away legal immunity from pharmaceutical companies. She says she is struggling to get the bill to move forward in the legislative process. She is asking residents to contact their representatives if they want the law changed.
Sheila Muniz says she hopes it is passed in time for her to get justice for her husband.
"Nobody is protected right now. Any pharmaceutical company can do anything to you,and get away with it," said Muniz.
Seven Action News called Genentech and its attorneys. They had no comment on Michigan law or the the case filed by Sheila Muniz.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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