Wednesday, April 16, 2008
It looks as though payday has finally arrived for fen-phen attorneys. After nearly a decade of litigation, Judge Harvey Bartle III awarded plaintiffs’ lawyers from over 70 law firms $412 million for their efforts in litigating the Diet Drugs Product Liability Litigation. According to the National Law Journal, plaintiffs attorneys logged more than 578,000 hours (the equivalent of 24,000 days, or almost 66 years) of work on the litigation. As you may recall, the fen-phen settlement involved back-end opt out rights and a settlement that has endured at least seven amendments. Experts initially estimated 35,500 claims but just the back-end opt-outs exceeded 60,000 fen-phen users. Notable opinions on the settlement can be found at 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12275; 369 F.3d 293, 303 (3d Cir. 2004); and 226 F.R.D. 498 (E.D. Pa. 2005).