For more than three years, Frank Woodson and Matt Munson, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, have been handling the firm’s litigation involving Pfizer’s Lipitor. Plaintiffs alleged the immensely popular statin drug was causing otherwise healthy women to develop Type 2 diabetes in as little as six weeks after starting a prescription.
Earlier this summer, the federal judge overseeing the Lipitor multidistrict litigation (MDL) excluded all of the Plaintiff’s experts in the nationwide litigation. The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee intends to appeal this decision. The same judge is now considering entering summary judgment in favor of Pfizer and against approximately 2,500 Plaintiffs whose cases are in the MDL. Counsel for the Plaintiffs have opposed Pfizer’s single omnibus motion on the basis that an MDL judge lacks the authority to grant such a motion without considering the laws and burden of proof for each Plaintiff’s home state, something this judge has not done.
It is most unfortunate that the Lipitor litigation is now at a standstill, but the case will be appealed. It’s quite ironic that Japan’s pharmaceutical regulatory agency required Pfizer to warn doctors and patients about this serious disease being associated with ingestion of Lipitor in 2003. Pfizer has never warned women in this country of this potential effect of taking Lipitor.
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