After little more than a week of trial, Pharmacia & Upjohn settled the claims of two women that its hormone replacement drugs caused their breast cancers. The company agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle the claims which were pending in a Nevada state court. Wyeth, the maker of Prempro and Premarin, two other hormone replacement drugs, had settled its claims in the same case a few weeks prior. These settlements against Wyeth and Upjohn are important benchmarks since both women used estrogen and progestin for less than five years. Wyeth and Upjohn have vehemently denied that there is any proof to suggest that short term use of their drugs can lead to cancer.
Recently there have been two court orders which are very beneficial to victims of hormone therapy. First, Judge Wilson, who presides over the federal court cases, issued an order denying the company’s’ attempt to throw out all cases with less than five years use. The denial of this motion is a significant win since it preserves the right for these women to have their cases heard by a jury.
Secondly, Judge Wilson issued an order on punitive damages. This is important because the companies have been taking the position across the country that the recent Scroggin order (taking away the jury’s punitive award in that case) disposed of any future punitive damages claims. Judge Wilson has now indicated that such a position is incorrect. There are currently in excess of ten thousand plaintiffs in Judge Wilson’s Court. Ted Meadows, Melissa Prickett, and Russ Abney, the lawyers working on hormone therapy at our firm, continue to investigate potential cases. If you need additional information contact any of them at 800-898-2034 or by email at Ted.Meadows@beasleyallen.com, Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com or Russ.Abney@beasleyallen.com.
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