Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A judge in Madison County, Illinois has approved a class action settlement in the Paxil litigation. According to this May 25 article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch -- Judge Approves $64 Million Settlement Over Drug Paxil -- the court approved a nationwide settlement to reimburse parents for money spent on the GlaxoSmithKline antidepressant drug for their children. The suit, Hoorman v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., alleged that the defendant withheld information about the safety of the drug, which has been linked to an increased risk of suicide in young people; the defendant denies the allegations. Under the settlement, class members with receipts or pharmacy records can receive reimbursement of their out-of-pocket expenses, while those who lack documentation may receive up to $100. The settlement is described at www.paxilpediatricsettlement.com. The lawsuit was filed in 2004, which presumably explains why it was not removed to federal court under CAFA. Significantly, the class settlement resolves only the parents' claims for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, and does not preclude personal injury claims.
The Madison County class settlement contrasts with the January denial of class certification in a federal court Paxil class action. Attribute the different outcomes in part to the difference between economic damages and personal injury, and in part to the different forums.