Pfizer, Inc. has agreed to pay $894 million to settle lawsuits related to its painkillers Bextra and Celebrex. Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, along with co-counsel, spearheaded the litigation consolidated in California's Northern District. $745 million of the settlement will resolve about 90% of the personal injury suits that alleged the painkillers caused heart attacks and strokes. 33 states have filed suits relating to Pfizer's promotion of Bextra, and they will receive $60 million of the settlement. The remaining $89 million will help resolve class actions alleging fraud in connection with the promotion of Bextra and Celebrex.
Pfizer, Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker, was sued over allegations that Bextra and Celebrex increased the risk of heart attacks or strokes after a similar pill, Vioxx, was pulled from the market over the same side effects in 2004. Bextra has been recalled since 2005 over a rare skin condition. Celebrex, however, is still sold and generated $2.3 billion for Pfizer last year.
Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, plaintiffs' lead trial counsel, said, "Today, the safety and rights of the American consumer are in jeopardy from the Pharmaceutical Industry's push to provide legal immunity for corporations whose dangerous drug products may cause devastating injuries. The settlement serves as a powerful example of how private litigation can ensure the safety of drug products for use by ordinary Americans." Read more…