Quoted from http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201007151155dowjonesdjonline000557&title=novartis-in-tentative-pact-to-settle-zelnorm-injury-suits
Novartis In Tentative Pact To Settle Zelnorm Injury Suits
By Peter Loftus, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
July 15, 2010
Novartis AG (NVS) has reached a tentative agreement to settle 124 lawsuits brought by people who claimed their use of the gastrointestinal drug Zelnorm caused heart-related injuries....
Novartis disclosed the legal developments in its second-quarter earnings release Thursday. The company didn't disclose how much it's paying in the Zelnorm settlement, which was reached in May.
Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff said the Zelnorm pact is still tentative and terms haven't yet been disclosed.
Novartis had suspended U.S. sales of Zelnorm in 2007 at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because a safety analysis found it increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and chest pain, compared with placebo.
Zelnorm, which first went on sale in 2001, was approved to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It had sales of $561 million in 2006, the last full year before its withdrawal.
The withdrawal sparked a number of lawsuits. Novartis said in its earnings release it's a defendant in about 135 cases brought in U.S. and Canadian courts.
Novartis said the tentative Zelnorm settlement is contingent upon the consent of individual plaintiffs. The pact averted the first trial in the Zelnorm product-liability litigation, which had been scheduled to begin in Virginia in June but is now postponed, Novartis said.