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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) Settles 80 Percent of More Than 2,700 Lawsuits Claiming Problems With Smoking Cessation Drug Chantix


3/4/2013 7:57:22 AM

Pfizer Inc. has settled about 80 percent of the more than 2,700 lawsuits filed against it in federal and state courts nationwide over its smoking cessation drug Chantix, according to a company filing with a federal regulator this week. The company says it is assuming a loss of $273 million for 2012 to settle those cases and expects to spend an estimated $15 million more to settle remaining ones in the future, according to the filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Most of the more than 2,700 lawsuits filed nationwide by people who complained of psychological problems, including suicides or suicide attempts, were consolidated as a multidistrict litigation _ or MDL _ in Birmingham federal court under U.S. District Court Judge Inge Johnson. Among the lawsuits settled were 254 cases being handled by the Birmingham law firm Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris. "We have reached a resolution of the litigation on behalf of all of the Chantix clients of Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris, subject to the approval of our clients," Ernest Cory who represents the 254 clients in 28 states, stated in a prepared release. The terms of the settlement are confidential, Cory said. He said he is pleased that his clients will be able to put the litigation behind them. Two other cases from Alabama and Minnesota, which had been set to become test cases in the MDL, had been settled in the past five months just prior to trials. In 2010 Johnson appointed Cory to serve as the plaintiff's lead plaintiff's counsel for the MDL cases. "From the beginning, our firm has taken this litigation very seriously and I will continue to serve as Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel until all remaining plaintiffs have resolved their cases and there is no longer a need for an MDL," Cory said.

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