March 28, 2013 |
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.
March 27, 2013 |
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.
November 3, 2007 |
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.
September 18, 2005 |
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.
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.
February 1, 2005 |
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.
May 6, 2004 |
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.
April 28, 2004 |
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.
April 22, 2004 |
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.
November 16, 2002 |
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.