Warner-Lambert to Pay $43M in DamagesDec 21, 2001 | AP Hours after losing a $43 million verdict Friday, Pfizer Inc. reached a settlement with lawyers for a woman who said her liver was destroyed by the company's recalled diabetes drug, Rezulin.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. The deal, eliminating the possibility of an appeal by the drug maker, was announced as the state court jury considered whether to add punitive damages against Pfizer's Warner-Lambert unit.
``The two parties said, 'Let's settle.' It was settled to everybody's mutual satisfaction. Everybody is happy,'' said Mike Papantonio, one of the lawyers who represented 63-year-old Margarita Sanchez.
Pfizer spokesman Bob Fauteux said the settlement should be finalized next week.
During a two-week trial, Sanchez's lawyers said Warner-Lambert lied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about Rezulin's dangers.
FDA research has linked the drug to 63 deaths from liver failure. According to company documents, Pfizer faces more than 4,200 claims and lawsuits over Rezulin.
``I think it should be a very clear signal to people who own stock in this company that there's more to come,'' Papantonio said after the jury verdict on compensatory damages.
Pfizer, which acquired Warner-Lambert last year, had argued that Sanchez's liver condition was caused by hepatitis and vowed to appeal.
``With a fair presentation of the evidence, we believe that our defenses would have prevailed, just as they did in Houston earlier this week,'' said Pfizer general counsel Paul S. Miller.
On Monday, a Houston jury found the company not liable for a 58-year-old woman's death. It was the first verdict in a Rezulin-related litigation.
The FDA approved Rezulin in 1997 to treat type II diabetes. The drug was taken by nearly 2 million people before it was removed from the market last year.
Warner-Lambert made $1.6 billion on the drug, Papantonio said.