Connie Barton and Donna Kendall have something in common: they stood up to one of the largest and most powerful drug companies in a court of law – and each of them won. On November 23, 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there were two verdicts against Wyeth (a division of Pfizer) over its hormone therapy drugs (Premarin and Prempro). In each case, the juries awarded these women significant compensatory and punitive damages ranging from more than $34 million to $78 million. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as Wyeth faces lawsuits from more than 10,000 additional women who also claim that Wyeth’s drugs gave them breast cancer. A third punitive verdict that was awarded in the case of Daniel v. Wyeth was scheduled to be released on November 23rd, but Wyeth was granted emergency relief on that day to keep the third verdict sealed.
The evidence at these trials showed Wyeth’s unrelenting campaign to make billions of dollars in profit from these drugs while keeping the truth about the drugs’ dangers secret. Jurors were shocked to learn that:
These verdicts clearly show that when jurors hear how Wyeth put huge profits over the safety of patients, they will react with a strong message of outrage. Just last month, a legal ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit confirmed that Wyeth did wrong and that juries should be permitted to hear this evidence and determine whether the company should be punished. Robert Peck, President of the Constitutional Law Center, explains that this ruling shows that “Wyeth’s behavior outraged these judges.”
As Michael Richmond, who was a jury foreperson in a Prempro trial, explained: “Wyeth had no concern whatsoever for the health of the patients. They were only concerned about their profits.” These verdicts – with significant punitive awards – confirm the anger of a community when the truth is learned about how the drug industry operates.
Of the 12 verdicts to date, Plaintiffs have been awarded substantial amounts by ten of the 12 juries. Every jury that has been permitted to deliberate on punitive damages has returned substantial punitive damage awards. In addition, thirteen women have settled their hormone therapy claims with Wyeth or Pfizer. For a summary of all hormone therapy verdicts to date, visit this web site (http://www.hrt-legal.com/). You can also view there a video summarizing some of the evidence heard by juries in these cases.
Our friend Tobi Millrood did a remarkable job of representing Mrs. Kendall, who suffered a double mastectomy as a result of Prempro-induced breast cancer. Zoe Littlepage and Rainey Booth, who are also very good friends of our firm, also did remarkable jobs of representing Mrs. Barton, who suffered a mastectomy as a result of Prempro-induced breast cancer.
Our firm represents a number of women who have filed suit against Wyeth and/or Pfizer. We are currently set for trial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 16, 2010. We are also hopeful that several other hormone therapy cases will soon be set for trial in other parts of the country. If you would like more information please contact one of our lawyers -Ted Meadows, Melissa Prickett or Russ Abney. You can contact 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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