Quoted from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601202&sid=aympI.JcS50s
Pfizer Settles Neurontin Suit Over Minister’s Death
By Jef Feeley
May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. agreed to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging its Neurontin epilepsy medicine caused a retired minister to commit suicide two months after he started taking the drug.
Lawyers for New York-based Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker, told a judge in Nashville, Tennessee, they resolved claims by the family of Richard Smith, which were set to go to trial today. It’s the second settlement of claims that officials of a Pfizer unit knew the epilepsy drug posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.
“I’m very pleased the case has been resolved,” U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger told lawyers for Smith’s family and the company today. The terms weren’t disclosed. Smith, 79, was a retired Church of Christ minister, according to court papers. He was taking the drug to deal with chronic pain, not epilepsy, the filings show.
Pfizer faces more than 1,000 lawsuits accusing it of illegally promoting Neurontin for unapproved uses and helping to cause some users’ suicides. In March, a Boston jury ordered Pfizer to pay more than $140 million in damages to an insurer over its marketing practices in connection with the drug. Pfizer has denied any wrongdoing in connection with its handling of Neurontin.