Courts resurrect suits against Pfizer

Unfortunately for Pfizer, two judges have brought claims against the company back to life. First, the Nigerian families who are suing Pfizer over an in-country study of the antibiotic Trovan, conducted during a meningitis epidemic there, can now pursue the company in U.S. court. Lower courts had ruled that the families had no jurisdiction, but the appeals panel found that a 1789 law gives foreigners the right to sue in certain circumstances. As you know, Pfizer already has been defending itself against the families and government officials in Nigerian courts.

Second, a circuit court is letting a securities suit over Celebrex go forward. Pfizer acquired the drug when it bought Pharmacia, you'll recall, and this case centers on allegations that Pharmacia hid the painkiller's side effects. Pfizer had argued that an FDA report on the clinical study in question should have been enough of a public warning, and lower courts had agreed.

- read the Wall Street Journal Health Blog story
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