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Bextra / Celebrex
- Issue: Defective prescription drug
- Result: $850 million in settlements
In re Bextra/Celebrex Marketing Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
Lieff Cabraser served as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and Elizabeth J. Cabraser chaired the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) charged with overseeing all personal injury and consumer litigation in Federal courts nationwide arising out of the sale and marketing of the COX-2 inhibitors Bextra and Celebrex, manufactured by Pfizer, Inc and its predecessor companies Pharmacia Corporation and G.D. Searle, Inc.
The litigation presented unique challenges, including two drugs with different regulatory histories and different liability issues, and the risk of dismissal on preemption grounds. Discovery was extensive, involving tens of millions of documents and over a hundred multi-day depositions.
Under the global resolution of the multidistrict tort and consumer litigation announced in October 2008, Pfizer is paying at least $850 million, including over $750 million to resolve death and injury claims.
In a report adopted by the Court on common benefit work performed by the PSC, the Special Master stated:
[L]eading counsel form both sides, and the attorneys from the PSC who actively participated in this litigation, demonstrated the utmost skill and professionalism in dealing with numerous complex legal and factual issues. The briefing presented to the Special Master, and also to the Court, and the development of evidence by both sides was exemplary. The Special Master particularly wishes to recognize that leading counsel for both sides worked extremely hard to minimize disputes, and when they arose, to make sure that they were raised with a minimum of rancor and a maximum of candor before the Special Master and Court.
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