Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court confirmed that its six-year statute of limitations governs all personal injury claims properly brought in Minnesota courts, even when neither party is from there and the cause of action accrued completely in another state. Had it ruled otherwise, Minnesota’s highest court would have reversed long standing state precedent that statutes of limitations are procedural in nature. Moreover, it would have effectively granted Wyeth’s desire to dismiss approximately 4000 hormone therapy cases filed against it (as well as numerous other cases pending there).
Last month, we reported that newly unsealed court documents prove that Wyeth paid ghostwriters to produce forty scientific papers to promote the benefits and downplay the risks of its $2 billion dollar a year hormone therapy drugs. The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, failed to disclose Wyeth’s role in initiating and paying for the work. This type of subterfuge, coupled with Wyeth’s continuing denial that its drugs cause breast cancer, certainly played a major role in lulling many women (and their doctors) into thinking they did not have a case. Consequently, they did not consult with a lawyer until after their shorter home state statutes of limitations had expired. This ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court, coupled with its six-year statute of limitations, will allow thousand of breast cancer victims to present their case against Wyeth to a jury.
Approximately 12, 000 women have sued Pfizer and/or Wyeth claiming that their hormone therapy drugs caused serious medical conditions, including breast cancer. So far, eight of ten juries have agreed and returned large verdicts. The companies have also settled at least eight other cases on the eve of trial. Our firm represents a number of women who have filed suit against Wyeth and/or Pfizer. We are currently set for trial in Philadelphia, Pa., where Judge Moss ordered 16 cases be tried starting in September 2009 and ending in the first half of 2010. We are also hopeful that several other hormone therapy cases will soon be set for trial in other parts of the country in 2010. If you would like more information please contact Ted Meadows, Melissa Prickett or Russ Abney in our office 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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