Forest settles antidepressant liability suits

Forest Laboratories ($FRX) is quietly settling liability lawsuits over its antidepressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro, which parents claim caused their children to either attempt or commit suicide. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, four lawsuits were settled Friday, with two more settled in recent weeks. The company faced a total of 54 suits with similar claims, all consolidated in St. Louis federal court.

More settlements are expected in the coming months, the newspaper reports, as Forest attempts to wrap up its legal troubles with Celexa and Lexapro. The settlement amounts aren't public, but analysts don't expect the litigation to have much effect on the company's finances.

Just last month, the company agreed to pay $300 million to settle off-label marketing charges with the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston. A company subsidiary pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to marketing the antidepressants for pediatric use, which wasn't approved by the FDA.

- read the Post-Dispatch story