Legal news for Massachusetts pharmaceutical liability attorneys – Boston trial over Neurontin-related suicide claim resolved with settlement, family to receive $400,000.
Claims of epilepsy medicine causing suicide is rising, Pfizer submitted to first settlement.
Boston, MA (www.NewYorkInjuryNews.com) – In the first settlement over a Neurontin-related suicide claim, Pfizer agreed to pay approximately $400,000 to the family of a man who committed suicide in 2002, as reported by the Boston Herald and Wall St. Journal. The settlement came mid-trial of a lawsuit blaming Neurontin, an epilepsy medicine, for causing a man’s suicide.
Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, agreed to pay the family of Hartley Shearer slightly less than $400,000 to settle the case before it was settled in a Boston federal court. According to a spokesman for Pfizer, Pfizer agreed to settle the case for less than its defense costs remaining in this case…Pfizer maintains that it has strong defenses to each of [the] plaintiff’s claims.”
Currently, the New York-based company faces over 1,000 lawsuits accusing the company of illegally promoting the drug Neurontin for unapproved uses, helping to cause the suicides of some users.
A week prior to this settlement, a different Boston jury ordered Pfizer to pay over $140 million in damages to an insurer over the drug. In 2004, Pfizer’s Warner-Lambert subsidiary pleaded guilty to criminal charges that were filed by the Justice Department in connection with claims that it illegally marketed Neurontin. The company paid a $430 million fine.
The allegedly risky Neuronin was one of Pfizer’s top selling drugs, pulling in $2.7 billion in sales in 2003.
Shearer was a part-time lecturer at Williams College in Williamstown. He took Neurontin for 16 months before taking his life.
Legal News Reporter: Tara Monks – Legal news for pharmaceutical liability attorneys.