Chantix Lawsuit Settlements Possible

J. Cooper Carlisle | April 27th, 2011

As trial dates approach for more than 1,200 Chantix lawsuits consolidated in federal courts, the likelihood grows that Pfizer , the manufacturer of the controversial smoking cessation aid, will reach Chantix lawsuit settlements with some of the plaintiffs who have suffered from side effects in this Chantix litigation.

A firm schedule for expert depositions and window for Daubert motions has been set forth by Judge Inge Prytz Johnson, the federal judge overseeing the MDL in Alabama.

Chantix side effects lead to Chantix lawsuits

Certainly, Pfizer hopes some, if not all, of those Chantix lawsuits never reach the courtroom floor. Thousands of Chantix side effects reports including mood swings, aggressive behavior, violence, depression, and suicide have reached the FDA since the drug was approved in 2006, with various consumer health organizations calling Chantix one of the most dangerous prescription drugs on the market.

Recently, it has been revealed Pfizer may not have adequately tested Chantix on patients with mental instability, a cross-section of the population that may be particularly sensitive to Chantix side effects.

Chantix lawsuit settlements may be the route Pfizer chooses

These challenges will not be easy for Pfizer to overcome in court. For this reason, the drug giant may choose to reach settlements with some or all plaintiffs currently engaged in Chantix litigation.

It is unclear exactly how much Chantix lawsuit settlements may be worth, as none have so far been publicized, if any have transpired at all.

Confidentiality is one of the main reasons drug companies seek settlements with plaintiffs. Chantix lawsuit settlements may serve to keep trade secrets –otherwise revealed during trial — under wraps. More so, non-disclosure clauses may keep plaintiffs who reach Chantix lawsuit settlements from sharing their compensation amounts.

Chantix lawsuit settlement amounts will likely be varied

Still, the variables involved in settlement calculation are fairly straightforward. Plaintiffs who developed severe or permanent Chantix side effects may be eligible for more valuable Chantix lawsuit settlements than those who developed short-term symptoms.

Chantix suicide settlements

Families that have filed wrongful death lawsuits involving Chantix suicide may be eligible for the most valuable Chantix lawsuit settlements.

Chantix lawsuit settlements vs jury awards

If and when the first Chantix settlement is reached with a plaintiff’s Chantix lawyer, many more will likely follow. This may not occur until after bellwether trials take place, when Pfizer will get a better understanding of the damages paid out by jury trials. While they are never guaranteed, jury awarded damages are almost always higher than settlements offered by defendants. Compensation awarded by jury during bellwether litigation may provide Pfizer with a ceiling value for future Chantix lawsuit settlements.

The first bellwether trials could commence in late summer 2012.