Gerald J. Williams
Double Trouble for Pfizer: Two juries award more than $100 million to punish Pfizer unit, Wyeth
November 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Connie Barton and Donna Kendall both have something in common: they stood up to one of the largest and most powerful drug companies in court - and won. Today, in Philadelphia, PA, these two verdicts against Wyeth (a division of Pfizer) over its hormone therapy drugs (Premarin and Prempro) were released. In each case, the jury awarded these women significant compensatory and punitive damages ranging from more than $28 million to $78 million. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as Wyeth faces lawsuits from more than 10,000 additional women who also claim that Wyeth's drugs gave them breast cancer. A third punitive verdict that was awarded in 2007 in the Daniel v. Wyeth case was scheduled to be released today as well. However, Wyeth was granted emergency relief this morning to keep the third verdict sealed.
The evidence at these trials showed Wyeth's unrelenting campaign to make billions of dollars in profit from these drugs while keeping the truth about the drugs' dangers secret. Jurors were shocked to learn that:
Today's verdicts clearly show that when jurors hear how Wyeth put huge profits over the safety of patients, they will react with a strong message of outrage. Just last month, a legal ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that Wyeth did wrong and that juries should be permitted to hear this evidence and determine whether the company should be punished. Robert Peck, President of the Constitutional Law Center explains that this rulings shows that "Wyeth's behavior outraged these judges."
As Michael Richmond, a jury foreperson in a Prempro trial, explains: "Wyeth had no concern whatsoever for the health of the patients. They were only concerned about their profits." These verdicts - with significant punitive awards - confirm the anger of a community when the truth is learned.