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Woman Wins Fen-Phen Suit

Nov 7, 2003 | AP

A jury awarded a woman whose heart was damaged after using the weight-loss drugs Fen-Phen more than $1.3 million in damages Thursday.

Jurors awarded Deborah Hayes $810,000 for future medical expenses and $500,000 for future mental anguish.

Hayes, 46, sued Fen-Phen maker Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories (WYE), claiming the combination of the drugs damaged a valve in her heart. The postal worker said she took Fen-Phen for 90 days over a six-month period in 1999.

Doctors found plaque in her heart valve, a condition usually found in the elderly, her defense attorney, Jim Morris Jr., told the Beaumont Enterprise.

A Dallas lawyer representing Wyeth, said he would ask state District Judge Gary Sanderson to negate the future medical expenses award. He also said the award will be appealed to the Texas Ninth Court of Appeals, and if necessary, the Texas Supreme Court.

Hayes opted out of a pending class action suit against Wyeth. The St. Davids, Pa.-based company faces about 70,000 similar opt-out lawsuits.

Wyeth has set aside $16.6 billion for Fen-Phen settlements, including $2 billion this year.


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