A Virginia Beach police officer is pressing charges against a pharmaceutical company for failing to provide warning labels on an antibiotic that briefly turned him psychotic.
Officer Bradley Colas started taking Biaxin for bronchitis in March of 2012. The lawsuit notes that after several doses, Colas began to believe that he was a prophet with special religious powers.
However, because neither his doctor nor his pharmacist had ever heard of problems with the drug, both instructed him to keep taking it.
Eventually, Colas apparently became so deluded that he convinced himself he had to meet Jesus in Philadelphia and rescue a former girlfriend. He also attributed an evil association to the number four.
Furthermore, Colas reportedly believed he could make the drive to Philadelphia with his eyes closed “if he had enough faith.” When he crashed in Accomack County, he called 911.
According to Hampton Roads, the responding firefighters’ helmets had the number four on them – and the fire engine truck happened to Engine Forty-Four. Colas, believing them to be demons, went into attack mode.
The police officer reportedly stabbed two firefighters and shot a third; the bullet struck the man’s pant leg.
The firefighters fought back: one wounded Colas’ head with his fire helmet, while another cut his arm with a clipboard. When the firefighters retreated, Colas hopped onto the fire truck “and asked for a ride to Philadelphia.” Colas fell off the truck as it pulled away.
Police arrived on the scene, where they mistook the badge Colas had in his hand for a gun. Colas was arrested and told to “shut up” as he continued to talk incessantly about Jesus.
After being brought to the Accomack County jail, where he stopped taking the drug, Colas’ state of health returned to normal. Colas spent three months in jail. Prosecutors then dropped the charges, and he was able to return to his Virginia Beach police job.
Colas has now filed a federal lawsuit seeking more than $75,000 from Abbvie, Inc. and Abbot Laboratories. The lawsuit maintains that although the companies knew that Biaxin had been known to trigger psychotic episodes, no warnings were included on the prescription.
The drug company has not responded.
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