Elizabeth Conte was living a quiet life as she aged, and like many of us, she relied on some prescription drugs to maintain the quality of her life. One of those drugs is metoclopramide, known by the brand name of Reglan. When she took it as her doctor recommended, it helped relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. What she didn’t know, though, was that there was a hidden danger in her metoclopramide, a danger that would change her life. While the company had seen independent research that showed long-term use of metoclopramide dramatically increased the risk of devastating side effects, her doctors were misled to believe that the risks of serious injury were comparatively rare.
Mrs. Conte ended up trading heartburn for brain damage. Her metoclopramide use caused changes in her brain chemistry that sparked spontaneous and frequent movements of her lips and mouth.
Mrs. Conte was the victim of corporate irresponsibility. When she found out that her suffering could have easily been avoided, she took advantage of living in America. She sued. It took years with drug company lawyers fighting her at every step, but in the end, they paid her for the injuries they had caused and that she would continue to endure for the rest of her life. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1114587.html
The thing that makes Mrs. Conte’s case different from the thousands of similar lawsuits filed every year is that she had a unique plan for what she wanted to do with the money the drug company would pay her and her lawyer. She didn’t want it for herself, though she lived a very modest life on a fixed income. She donated all the money other than the Medicare reimbursement and her attorney donated all his fees. She told her lawyer to find a way to use it that could help make wrongdoers who cause injury to others more accountable. And with that act of generosity, The Conte Foundation was born.