Summary:

Paragraph one reads: "Defense attorneys say that the side effects of the drug Prozac prompted their client to shoot up a bar, killing two men and injuring three others."

Paragraph three reads: "Bernaiche is being defended by Andy Vickery, a Houston lawyer who has successfully sued the makers of Prozac, saying the drug has side effects that can cause suicide, anger and violent behavior, the Detroit Free Press reported in a Friday story."

http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/michigan/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1074853740150690.xml


Southgate resident on trial over deaths in 2002

The Associated Press
1/23/2004, 4:17 a.m. ET
DETROIT (AP) ? Defense attorneys say that the side effects of the drug Prozac prompted their client to shoot up a bar, killing two men and injuring three others.

Christopher Bernaiche's lawyers claim the 27-year-old Southgate resident lost at a pool game, got into a fight and then returned to a Gibraltar bar with a gun on Dec. 27, 2002. He then fired at least 20 bullets in a Prozac-induced rage, they say.
Bernaiche is being defended by Andy Vickery, a Houston lawyer who has successfully sued the makers of Prozac, saying the drug has side effects that can cause suicide, anger and violent behavior, the Detroit Free Press reported in a Friday story.
Bernaiche is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. If convicted, he would face life in prison with no chance of parole.
On Thursday, during opening statements, Vickery said Bernaiche was mentally ill at the time of the shooting. That mental illness, which he called substance-induced mood disorder, caused Bernaiche to react violently and to ultimately kill.
"This is a case about drug-induced violence," Vickery said. "His doctor said, `Take these pills; they'll make make you feel better.' He had no clue what kind of chemical time bomb was ticking away in his body."
Prozac and other drugs are in a class known as selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Prozac is the most widely used of these drugs. The group also includes the brand names Paxil, Zoloft and Luvox.
The drugs generally work by shoring up the brain's level of seratonin, a beneficial neurotransmitter, by preventing the body from prematurely siphoning it out of the central nervous system.
Eli Lilly and Co., the maker of Prozac, has faced more than 300 lawsuits over the drug's alleged side effects, but has maintained the drug's safety as well-documented.