In our last Hormone Therapy Litigation update, we provided our readers a chart of jury verdicts to date. It appears we now need to update the chart as another verdict has been returned. A few weeks ago, a West Virginia jury in a federal court found in favor of Wyeth in the Hines case. That result was not unexpected since the judge in that case severely limited the evidence the Plaintiff was allowed to present to the jury. As I have consistently said, when juries are allowed to hear and see the evidence in these cases, they not only find against Wyeth, they award significant punitive damages. There has been no word on whether these will be an appeal in the Hines case.
On the appellate front, the victims seem to appear to be on a roll. The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied Wyeth’s petition for review of the case of Rowatt, Scofield & Forrester v. Wyeth. With no place left to appeal, Wyeth was forced to pay the $58 million judgment that the three women in that case won four years ago in a Nevada state court. Also, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently denied Wyeth’s application for review of a case where they ironically claimed a woman should have known of the relationship between her breast cancer and their drugs several years before she filed her lawsuit. I say ironic because, to this day, Wyeth claims its hormone drugs do not cause breast cancer. Had the court ruled in Wyeth’s favor in that case, the company’s statute of limitations loophole defense would have denied hundreds of breast cancer victims their day in court. The Nevada Supreme Court also ruled against Wyeth on a statute of limitations question, paving the way for the Nevada Attorney General to prosecute a lawsuit against Wyeth for deceptive marketing of Prempro in the State of Nevada.
Plaintiffs also seem to be doing very well in this litigation in other countries. Recently, a Canadian judge certified a personal injury class action for women allegedly injured by Wyeth’s Hormone Therapy drugs. This may allow many Canadian breast cancer victims to have their day in court.
The case we had set for trial in Montgomery for July was moved to February 2012. We look forward to trying not only that hormone therapy case, but several others in the coming months. We have four cases set for trial in Philadelphia on November 14, 2011. We also have four cases that will be tried Birmingham, beginning on January 3, 2012. If you need additional information on the HRT litigation, contact Ted Meadows, a lawyer in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2304 or by email at Ted.Meadows@beasleyallen.com. Ted has been appointed to the Plaintiffs steering committee (PSC) by the court in the HRT Litigation. This is an important assignment since the PSC is in charge of the entire Litigation.
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