Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Plaintiff Verdict in First Phase of Prempro Trial

In the first state court Prempro trial, the jury today returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the first phase of the trial.  The Pennsylvania state court jury found that Wyeth's hormone replacement therapy was a cause of the plaintiff's breast cancer, and determined that the amount of compensatory damages would be $1 million for Jennie Nelson and $500,000 for her husband.

It's a "reverse bifurcation" phased trial.  In the first phase, the jury determined causation and compensatory damages.  In the second phase, the jury will determine liability, and depending on the outcome, punitive damages.  In other words, the jury has not yet determined whether Wyeth is liable; there has been no determination of negligent failure to warn.  Thus, although the determination of causation is a setback for Wyeth, the significance of this verdict depends mightily on what happens in the second phase.

The verdict did not come easy.  Last week, the jurors informed the judge that they were deadlocked, but the judge ordered them to continue deliberating.  Yesterday, the foreperson told the judge that they were close to a verdict, but today a juror was removed and replaced with an alternate.  The verdict was announced shortly thereafter.

Last month, a jury found in favor of Wyeth in the first federal court Prempro trial.

HME

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Comments

I am one of the plaintiffs in the prempro class action. I had a mastectomy 3/03. There is no history of cancer in my immediate nor extended family. I am 65 and took prempro for 10 years. Do you know what the ingredient in prempro is? Get this, pregant horse's urine. Was anyone told this disgusting fact. As for punitive damages, I can't think of a case (having worked in the legal field for 40 years) where the defendants should pay punitive damages. There was never a warning about the chance of any health risks - the drug was only praised as being a wonder drug protecting women, among other things, from cancer, heart attacks and stroke. I would gladly have suffered the hot flashes and night sweats all these years because the cancer medicine I know take causes severe bouts of both. What are we guinea pigs!

Posted by: Linda Norton | Sep 10, 2007 10:30:47 AM

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