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BUSINESS
May 3, 2000 | By Susan Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After months on opposite sides of the negotiating table, lawyers for American Home Products Corp. and for people who may have been injured by diet drugs joined yesterday to defend a proposed $3.7 billion class-action settlement. In the first day of a U.S. District Court hearing here, a key negotiator for patients who took the anti-obesity drugs Pondimin or Redux, the fen components of the so-called fen-phen combination, said the proposed deal provides medical checkups and a flexible system for people to accept a quick settlement.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2000 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
The family of a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman whose death was blamed on the fen-phen diet drug combination settled a lawsuit against drugmaker American Home Products yesterday. Terms of the deal with relatives of Mary J. Linnen were kept secret, but the company said much of the award will be used to fund a research foundation established by the family to aid in treating the rare lung disease that killed her, primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Linnen, of Quincy, Mass., had taken the diet drug combination for 24 days in 1996 in an attempt to lose weight for her wedding.
NEWS
August 29, 2000 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
A federal judge in Philadelphia yesterday approved a $3.75 billion settlement that will pay for medical monitoring and treatment of former users of the once-popular diet drug cocktail known as "fen-phen. " "The decision by U.S. District Judge Louis Bechtle resolves the vast majority of legal claims filed in connection with the use of the diet drugs Pondimin [fenfluramine] and Redux [dexfenfluramine]," said a spokesperson for American Home Products Corp., the company that sold the drugs before they were taken off the market nearly three years ago. The judge declared that the settlement between AHP and attorneys for the diet drugs' users, mostly middle-aged women, "is, in all respects, fair, reasonable and adequate.
NEWS
March 28, 2013 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Like many class-action settlements, the $3.5 billion payout announced in 1999 by the makers of the diet drug Fen-Phen unleashed a stampede of claims, including thousands that were bogus. Many came courtesy of Abdur Razzak Tai, a Florida cardiologist who expected more than $1,000 from a plaintiffs' lawyer each time he certified a Fen-Phen patient with heart damage - a marker that often led to a six-figure payout. Tai signed more than 12,000 physician reports over several years.
NEWS
September 18, 2005 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Spurred by allegations of massive fraud in the $5 billion class-action settlement over fen-phen diet drugs, federal investigators are conducting a nationwide criminal probe into tens of thousands of claims asserting heart damage from the pills. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia and the FBI are examining whether lawyers, doctors and medical technicians conspired to submit bogus claims, according to sources in the criminal justice system. Investigators also are trying to root out former fen-phen users who participated in scams to file phony or exaggerated claims.
NEWS
November 7, 1997 | By Lauran Neergaard, ASSOCIATED PRESS Inquirer staff writer Donna Shaw contributed to this article
Cracking down on manufacturers of the diet supplement "herbal fen-phen," the government warned consumers yesterday that some products being sold as substitutes for recently banned diet drugs may be dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration warned a Bucks County company this week that its products violate federal law and may be seized as illegal drugs. FDA officials said they were considering similar action against other companies. The diet drugs fenfluramine - the "fen" in the popular fen-phen diet combination - and its close cousin Redux were banned in September after doctors discovered the medicines may damage dieters' heart valves.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2001 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
A Texas jury has ordered American Home Products Corp. to pay $56.5 million to a Texas woman who contended that her heart was damaged by the "fen-phen" diet-drug combination. The Madison, N.J., drugmaker said yesterday that it planned to appeal the decision, but that the award was adequately covered by $12.25 billion in charges that it took last year to cover lawsuits over two drugs, each of which was used as the "fen" half of the diet-drug pairing. American Home has already reached a national settlement with tens of thousands of U.S. patients who filed suits alleging that they had not been adequately warned about the dangers of taking the drugs, Pondimin (fenfluramine)
NEWS
August 29, 2000 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A U.S. district judge yesterday approved a $3.75 billion class-action settlement that is expected to end most of the nationwide litigation over the once-popular diet-drug combination known as fen-phen. Two drugs used in the fen-phen pill cocktail - Pondimin and Redux - were withdrawn from the market by American Home Products Corp. in 1997 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received reports that fen-phen might cause heart-valve damage. The reports of heart damage triggered more than 10,000 lawsuits against American Home Products, a pharmaceuticals giant based in Madison, N.J. In one of the largest settlements on record, American Home agreed in November to pay $3.75 billion to settle the litigation.
BUSINESS
August 1, 1999 | By Donna Shaw, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In 1996 and 1997, three New Jersey women, Lynn Vadino, Karol DeBerardinis and Deneen Giantonio, took diet pills to lose weight. Using the drugs for one to four months at a time, they shed a combined total of 63 pounds. None of the women suffered any apparent ill effects. But in a class-action lawsuit scheduled to go to trial this week in New Brunswick, the three will argue on behalf of thousands of New Jerseyans that they are entitled to a long-term program of comprehensive medical monitoring to protect them from possible future side-effects of the drugs.
BUSINESS
July 21, 2000 | By Susan Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
American Home Products Corp. promoted its top drug executive to president yesterday, but shares fell after the company said it would need more than the $4.7 billion it had set aside to settle claims related to its fen-phen diet drugs. American Home named Robert Essner president and chief operating officer of the company. He had been head of the company's global pharmaceutical business. Essner, 52, will also oversee American Home's consumer-products division, which markets Advil, Centrum vitamins, and Robitussin cough syrup.
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NEWS
March 28, 2013 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Like many class-action settlements, the $3.5 billion payout announced in 1999 by the makers of the diet drug Fen-Phen unleashed a stampede of claims, including thousands that were bogus. Many came courtesy of Abdur Razzak Tai, a Florida cardiologist who expected more than $1,000 from a plaintiffs' lawyer each time he certified a Fen-Phen patient with heart damage - a marker that often led to a six-figure payout. Tai signed more than 12,000 physician reports over several years.
NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Like many class-action settlements, the $3.5 billion payout announced in 1999 by the makers of the diet drug Fen-Phen unleashed a stampede of claims, including thousands that were bogus. Many came courtesy of Dr. Abdur Razzak Tai, a Florida cardiologist who expected more than $1,000 from a plaintiffs' lawyer each time he certified a Fen-Phen patient with heart damage, a marker that often led to a six-figure payout. Auditors later disqualified nearly 90 percent of Tai's certifications, and the FBI came knocking.
SPORTS
November 3, 2007 | Daily News Wire Services
Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin is up for sale, with a new group of more than 400 owners interested in a payday for the best thoroughbred in the country. Details haven't been worked out about where and when the likely Horse of the Year will go on the block, but lawyers involved with the horse's owners said it could be soon. That's good news for 418 people awarded the rights to a 20 percent stake in Curlin as part of a lawsuit against two of the colt's original owners. A state judge awarded the ownership stake to the 418 plaintiffs to help settle a $42 million judgment against attorneys Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion, who own a minority stake in Curlin.
NEWS
September 18, 2005 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Spurred by allegations of massive fraud in the $5 billion class-action settlement over fen-phen diet drugs, federal investigators are conducting a nationwide criminal probe into tens of thousands of claims asserting heart damage from the pills. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia and the FBI are examining whether lawyers, doctors and medical technicians conspired to submit bogus claims, according to sources in the criminal justice system. Investigators also are trying to root out former fen-phen users who participated in scams to file phony or exaggerated claims.
NEWS
April 8, 2005
Warped tort system Re: "Wyeth swallows hard to settle diet-pill cases," April 4: By any reasonable standard, our tort system is out of control. Wyeth, a company with a long history of providing valuable products that improve the health of society, has become a victim of unscrupulous individuals consciously abetted by members of the plaintiffs' bar. To allow claims of damage from fen-phen based on falsification and lies to proceed without serious consequence to the perpetrators is outrageous.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2005 | By Thomas Ginsberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Wyeth, maker of the recalled diet-drug combination called "fen-phen," shocked Wall Street yesterday with a $1.76 billion fourth-quarter loss, sending its stock price lower on reports of higher-than-expected litigation and development costs. Wyeth, the Madison, N.J., firm with pharmaceutical headquarters in Montgomery County, had seen its stock rise in the last six months as it seemed to contain damage from its 1997 recall of Redux and Pondimin, a combination known as fen-phen. But Wall Street punished Wyeth after its earnings report yesterday, sending the price down $3.35 a share to $39.63 from Friday's close of $42.98.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2004 | By L. Stuart Ditzen and Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Wyeth, the Madison, N.J., pharmaceutical company, and six lawyers suing it have agreed to a plan aimed at resolving the claims of an estimated 40,000 people who contend that Wyeth diet drugs damaged their hearts. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia yesterday, Wyeth said it would place - if Judge Harvey Bartle 3d approves - $1.275 billion in a special fund to settle the claims on an expedited basis. The money would be added to $3.75 billion set aside by Wyeth through a 1999 court settlement to pay valid heart-injury claims of users of the once-popular diet drugs, Pondimin, an ingredient in fen-phen, and Redux.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2004 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The family of a Texas woman was awarded $1.013 billion yesterday by a jury in Beaumont, Texas, which found drugmaker Wyeth was responsible for the woman's death several years after she took one of the company's "fen-phen" diet drugs. Cynthia Cappel-Coffey, 41, took the drug Pondimin between November 1996 and June 1997. In December 2001, she developed a fatal lung condition called primary pulmonary hypertension. She died last year. Yesterday's verdict, which Wyeth said it would appeal and which financial analysts predicted would not stand, adds to the legal costs stemming from the diet drugs that the Madison, N.J., company pulled from the market in 1997 after some users developed heart-valve damage.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2004 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Despite an increase in revenue, Wyeth's first-quarter profit fell 41 percent compared with a year ago, when earnings were boosted by a onetime gain, the company said yesterday. Shares of Wyeth, maker of Centrum vitamins and Advil pain medicine, rose $1.28, or 3.28 percent, to close at $40.28 after the pharmaceutical manufacturer beat some analysts' expectations for first-quarter earnings. "We are obviously very pleased with the first-quarter results despite challenges," chief financial officer Kenneth Martin told investors in a conference call.
BUSINESS
November 16, 2002 | By L. Stuart Ditzen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal judge in Philadelphia has cracked down sharply on two New York law firms, saying they have filed unjustifiable heart-damage claims against a $3.75 billion diet-drug settlement fund. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle 3d said in a 38-page ruling that the diet-drug settlement could be undermined if thousands of claims unexpectedly filed this year are paid to people who are uninjured. "Obviously, this cannot be tolerated," Bartle wrote. The diet-drug settlement, which was reached in federal court here in 1999, was designed to compensate people who developed heart problems after using the once-popular diet drugs Pondimin and Redux.
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