Lawsuits Against Pfizer Have Been Filed In Federal Court And Numerous State Courts
According to a proposed pre-trial order filed on December 1, 2005 for the Bextra / Celebrex federal court Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) more than 1,100 products liability cases are currently pending against Pfizer in connection with the drug company's arthritis drugs Bextra and Celebrex. This proposed order states that, because some of the filed complaints included more than one patient, there are about 1,200 plaintiffs asserting personal injury or wrongful death claims against Pfizer.
Bextra was recalled by Pfizer in April 2005 after mounting reports of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as serious skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Celebrex remains on the market despite allegations that this COX-2 inhibitor increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients taking Celebrex.
From this Bextra / Celebrex MDL filing, we learn that about fifty-percent of the approximately 1100 cases against Pfizer have been filed in the federal court system. Of those federal cases, most have been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the court to which the Bextra / Celebrex MDL has been assigned. Some of the federal court Bextra and Celebrex cases have not yet been transferred to this MDL: In Re: Bextra and Celebrex Marketing Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1699 (N.D. Calif.)
Of the federal cases, about one-half involve patients who used Celebrex, about a third involve patients who used Bextra, while the remainder of the cases involved patients who used either both Bextra and Celebrex or it is currently unclear what Pfizer painkiller was being used before the alleged side effect causing injury or death.
As for the state court cases, the number of Bextra and Celebrex lawsuits are about even with, again, some patients having taken both Pfizer drugs before the alleged side effect causing injury or death. By far, most of the Bextra and Celebrex cases against Pfizer have been filed in the New York state court system -- an estimated 400 lawsuits to date -- with New Jersey next, having approximately 110 state court cases. As of December 1, 2005 Bextra and Celebrex have been filed, also, in eleven other state court systems.
(Posted by: Tom Lamb)