Pfizer workers at manufacturing hub sue over whiplashed retirement plans

Pfizer ($PFE) employees at the company's manufacturing hub in Puerto Rico are not happy with what company shenanigans did to Pfizer's stock price and to their retirement plans.

They allege in a class action lawsuit that the company's controversy over the safety of painkillers Celebrex and Bextra took a toll on their retirement funds, and that the company did not sufficiently manage the funds. Bextra was taken off the market.  

Pharmalot reports that the employees claim that the stock also was hurt by sales and marketing practices that eventually resulted in Pfizer paying a $1.2 billion fine and a felony plea to settle an investigation into what the U.S. Department of Justice called fraudulent marketing of several drugs.

The lawsuit says the retirement plans were vulnerable to Pfizer's practice of matching employee contributions with shares. It was filed on behalf of employees who held more than 30% of their assets in Pfizer securities or common stock funds.

A Pfizer spokesman pointed out to The Associated Press that a New York court had rejected similar claims in 2009. But a lawyer for the Pfizer employees claims that tax and retirement plan laws in Puerto Rico make this suit different.

- read the AP story
- here's the Pharmalot article