In a ground-breaking ruling, an appeal court awarded Mr Jambart almost 200,000 euros (£161,000) in damages from GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceuticals giant.
Mr Jambart, 52, was in tears as judges upheld his claim that his life had become “hell” after he started taking Requip, a drug made by GSK. “This is a great day,” he said after the court threw out the firm’s appeal against an earlier ruling to award him 117,000 euros.
Finding that there was “serious, precise and corroborated” evidence to blame his transformation on Requip, they increased the level of damages to 197,468.83 euros.
With Christine, his wife, standing by his side, Mr Jambart added: “It has been a seven-year battle to get it recognised, with the limited means at our disposal, that GlaxoSmithKline lied to us and broke our lives for commercial reasons.
“I am happy that justice has been done. I am happy for my wife and my children. I am at last going to be able to sleep at night and profit from life. But it’s not as though we’ve won the lottery. This will never replace the years of pain.”
The court heard that Mr Jambart, a bank manager, local councillor and a father of two from Nantes in western France, had tried to commit suicide eight times after developing a passion for gambling and sex when he began taking Requip for Parkinson’s disease in 2003.
He said that he had emptied his bank account, sold his children’s toys and stolen money from work colleagues, friends and neighbours. He gambled a total of 82,000 euros, mostly placing internet bets on horse races, the court heard.
Mr Jambart said he had also engaged in a frantic search for gay sex – exhibiting himself on internet websites and arranging encounters, one of which resulted in him being raped. “I developed a hypersexuality which showed itself in the form of a search for pleasure with men and exhibitionism on the internet,” he told Ouest France, his local newspaper. “My family didn’t understand what was going on – me, a former councillor and bank manager.”
He said that his behaviour returned to normal when he stumbled upon a website that made the link between Requip and addictions in 2005, and stopped taking the drug. “My life was hell. It still is because you cannot forget a catastrophe like that.”
The court heard that warnings about Requip’s side-effects had been made public in 2006. Mr Jambart said that GSK should have informed patients earlier.
“Requip is a good medicine. It offers undeniable solutions to people with Parkinson’s disease,” he said. “But the rules of the game must be transparent. Requip has undesirable effects and it is not honest not to say so.”
Jacques-Antoine Robert, GSK’s lawyer, told the court in Rennes that the firm had “serious doubts” about Mr Jambart’s claim to have developed addictions after taking the drug