Kaye Scholer Client Wyeth Wins Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

Jury dismisses all four counts finding that HT medications Permarin and Prempro not responsible for Plaintiff’s wife breast cancer

May 30, 2012

A jury in federal court in Bridgeport, Connecticut returned a defense verdict today on all counts in a wrongful death suit filed against Wyeth, Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, both units of long-time Kaye Scholer client Pfizer. In Gardner-Moss v. Wyeth, et al. (United States District Court, District of Connecticut, Case No. 3:04-CV-0511-SRU) the jury held that Wyeth’s hormone therapy (HT) medications Premarin and Prempro did not cause the plaintiff’s wife’s breast cancer.

Kaye Scholer Product Liability Partners Pamela Yates and Andrew Solow served as co-trial counsel for Wyeth, along with David Dukes of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and Kelly Evans of Snell & Wilmer. Yates and Dukes were co-lead trial counsel. Other firms from Pfizer’s Legal Alliance, including DLA Piper and Skadden, Arps assisted the trial team and are involved in the overall defense of Hormone Therapy litigation. Wiggin and Dana LLP served as local Connecticut counsel. The Honorable Stefan R. Underhill presided.

After a three-week trial, the jury found in favor of the Defendant, stating that Wyeth adequately communicated the risks and benefits of its hormone therapy medications, and thus is not liable for the plaintiff’s breast cancer. In so doing, it dismissed all four alleged claims: Failure to Warn; Strict Liability-Design Defect; Negligent Failure to Test; and Negligent Misrepresentation and found for Wyeth on its affirmative defense on Strict Liability-Design Defect.

Pfizer has now won eight of the last ten cases that have reached a final verdict at trial and more than 3,000 other HT cases have been dismissed or withdrawn before even being set for trial.

This is the second defense verdict for Kaye Scholer on behalf of Pfizer and Wyeth in the HT litigation in the past year. In July 2011, Ms. Yates and Mr. Solow teamed up with Mr. Dukes of Nelson Mullins and Charles Goodell, from Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP—another firm from Pfizer’s Legal Alliance—to obtain a defense verdict in a three-week HT case in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia on behalf of Pfizer units, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pharmacia & Upjohn Co.

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