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Pfizer settles product liability cases after years of litigation

Florida residents know that business disputes can be overwhelming. Business litigation can carry on for years. That is exactly happened for one company that spent time battling thousands of product liability cases.

Recently, Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, has said in a securities filing that it has paid $896 million to settle approximately 60 percent of cases that alleged that its menopause drugs caused cancer in women.

At this point, Pfizer has now settled about 6,000 of these product liability lawsuits and it has set aside an additional $330 million to resolve the remaining 4,000 cases.

Ultimately, the company has devoted $1.2 billion to resolving these suits, which has equated to the business paying an average of about $150,000 a case.

A reputable fund manager who holds some of the company's shares made the following statement: "It's good for the company not to let this litigation linger." He added, "Resolving these cases gives investors one less thing to worry about."

Since litigation began in 2006, Pfizer has lost 11 of 21 cases decided by juries over the menopause drugs. At the height of the litigation, Pfizer faced more than 10,000 claims.

The pharmaceutical company was able to get some of the verdicts against it thrown out after trial. It also accomplished a reduction of award amounts in some cases. Ultimately, while the company resolved some of the verdicts through settlements, other decisions are on appeal.

Even so, sources indicate that it's good to see the company moving toward a litigation-free future. After years of legal battles, Pfizer is finally escaping the hustle and bustle of litigation.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Pfizer Paid $896 Million in Prempro Settlements," Jef Feeley, June 19, 2012

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