Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mistrial in Prempro Case

In Jennie Nelson v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the court today declared a mistrial and ordered a new trial, according to a report from Reuters -- US judge declares mistrial, overturns Wyeth verdict:

Wyeth on Wednesday said a Philadelphia judge granted its motion to declare a mistrial, overturning last week's verdict against the drug maker in a product liability suit involving one of its hormone replacement drugs.


The mistrial motion was unopposed by the plaintiff, Wyeth said, but it gave no details regarding the basis for the motion, or the reasons for the ruling by judge Norman Ackerman, who presided over the trial.

An attorney quoted in the article stated that the mistrial was due to "extraneous circumstances," but gave no details because the judge's order was under seal.

The Nelson trial had been bifurcated, with the first phase addressing causation and compensatory damages and the second phase addressing liability and possibly punitives.  The jury concluded, at the end of phase one, that Prempro was a cause of the plaintiff's breast cancer, and that the amount of damages was $1 million for Nelson and $500,000 for her husband.  The second phase was scheduled to begin tomorrow.


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