November 4, 2009

A Mixed Bag For Pfizer On Prempro Punitive Damages

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. That adage is illustrated by these two reports which appear today on Bloomberg.com:

Pfizer Doesn't Have to Pay $27 Million Prempro [Punitive Damages] Award

Pfizer Jury Said to Award $75 Million Prempro [Punitive Damages] Verdict

The former report refers to a $27 million punitive damages award rendered last year by a jury in federal district court in Arkansas. The district court vacated the award because the plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence of malice to support punitive damages. The Eighth Circuit disagreed (see opinion). Although the Eighth Circuit concluded the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to support a punitive damages award, the court ordered a new trial on the issue of punitive damages because the jury was allowed to consider improper expert testimony. (Note: the actual defendants in this case were Upjohn and Wyeth, but they have both been acquired by Pfizer.)

The latter report refers to a punitive damage award that a Philadelphia jury returned last week. The trial court ordered the amount of the punitive damages award sealed. It took about a week for someone to leak the amount to the media.

Related posts:

Jury Awards Undisclosed Amount of Punitive Damages Against Pfizer in Prempro Litigation

Arkansas District Court Vacates $27 Million Punitive Damages Award Against Wyeth and UpJohn

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