AllGov – News
August 15, 2011
David Turkheimer is suing his former employer, pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck & Co., because he was fired—either because he crashed his car while sleepwalking or he refused to do his boss’ biding and illegally market a drug.
According to his lawsuit, Turkheimer’s supervisor told him to sell Merck’s Gardasil HPV drug to a certain doctor. He was instructed to say the drug would lower the doctor’s insurance rates, and that the doctor might face litigation if he didn’t prescribe it. Turkheimer refused his manager’s request, and after that, the company looked for ways to get rid of him, according to the plaintiff.
An opportunity came, he says, after he began taking Ambien for sleep apnea and Prednisone for a skin rash—without knowing the two drugs combined could cause him to sleepwalk. One night Turkheimer sleepwalked his way right into his car and drove down the street, crashing into two parked vehicles.
The accident prompted Merck to fire Turkheimer for driving under the influence.