Sunday, May 4, 2008
Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Pfizer Settles Lawsuits Over Two Painkillers, by Nathan Koppel and Heather Won Tesoriero. What's interesting is Pfizer's approach to settlement: negotiating settlements with plaintiff's firms that have a large inventory of plaintiffs, rather than attempting (like Merck in Vioxx) to offer a massive settlement to all plaintiffs nationwide. Here's an excerpt:
Pfizer Inc. has struck tentative settlements with groups of plaintiffs who allege that the painkillers Celebrex and Bextra caused heart attacks and strokes, according to lawyers at three firms involved in the litigation.
These firms represent more than 200 out of the thousands of people who sued Pfizer over the two medications. The drug maker may have struck additional deals and remains in discussions with other plaintiffs' law firms, according to lawyers involved in the talks.
Unlike Merck & Co.'s recent global settlement of litigation involving the painkiller Vioxx, Pfizer is attempting to resolve its liability on a firm-by-firm basis, lawyers say. The Bextra and Celebrex cases didn't present nearly the same threat to Pfizer that Vioxx did to its maker, though.