Pfizer settles Prempro case, avoiding retrial

Pfizer has opted to settle a Prempro case rather than brave a punitive damages trial. It would have been the second such trial for Donna Scroggin's claims that the hormone replacement therapy--which Pfizer inherited in its buyout of Wyeth--caused her breast cancer. A previous jury awarded her $27.1 million in punitive damages, but that verdict was overturned on appeal.

"It makes sense for Pfizer to settle because of the potential for exposure if the punitive-damages issue goes back before another jury," Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond Law School professor, told Bloomberg. The settlement terms weren't released.

Earlier this month, Pfizer prevailed in a Prempro case in Philadelphia; the jury ruled that the menopause drug didn't cause two women's cancers. According to the news service, Wyeth lost seven of the 12 Prempro cases that went to jury trial, but succeeded in getting some damage awards reduced or verdicts tossed altogether. About 3,000 suits have been dismissed before trial, Pfizer says.

- read the Bloomberg story