Quoted from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704779704574554152446529982.html
Award in Hormone Suit
By PETER LOFTUS
A jury awarded $28 million in punitive damages in Pennsylvania state court Monday to a plaintiff who claimed her use of Pfizer Inc.'s hormone-therapy drugs caused breast cancer.
The jury had awarded $6.3 million in compensatory damages on Friday to the plaintiff, Donna Kendall, of Decatur, Ill. The jury found that Pfizer units had engaged in a pattern of willful and reckless conduct. Wyeth was the primary seller of hormone-therapy drugs, and Pfizer recently acquired the company. A separate Pfizer unit, Upjohn, was a defendant in the case.
"We hope that the jury's verdict will send a message to these giant pharmaceutical companies that the safety and well being of the public must come before profits," said Tobias Millrood, Ms. Kendall's attorney, in a press release.
Pfizer spokesman Christopher Loder said the company would challenge the verdict in post-trial motions, or file an appeal if necessary. "The company believes that neither the award of punitive damages nor the liability verdict were supported by the evidence or the law," he said.
Separately, in the case of another woman, Connie Barton, who alleged use of the drugs caused breast cancer, a Pennsylvania jury last month ordered $75 million in punitive damages, after $3.7 million in compensatory damages. The amount of punitive damages had been confidential but was unsealed Monday. Together, juries in the two cases ordered Pfizer to pay more than $112 million in damages.
A major government study released in 2002 linked Wyeth hormone-therapy drugs, including Premarin and PremPro, which are used to treat menopausal symptoms, to increased risk for breast cancer and other injuries. As of mid-year, Wyeth was a defendant in some 8,200 legal claims in state and federal courts, brought by women who alleged their use of the drugs caused personal injuries.