Bellwether Trials Could Impact Chantix Lawsuit Settlement

Cadence Vedder | August 5th, 2011

Lawyers for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that makes the anti-smoking drug Chantix are still meeting with the representatives of those who have elected to use Chantix lawyers in the northern district of Alabama federal court. Widespread and well publicized cases of Chantix side effects make a Chantix lawsuit settlement unlikely for the bellwether cases in this multidistrict litigation.

Chantix side effects resulting in death

These bellwether cases largely deal with psychiatric Chantix side effects, which include depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Carter Albrecht was one well publicized case, with friends and family claiming that Chantix side effects resulted in him acting erratically, attacking his girlfriend, and harassing a neighbor. Albrecht was shot and killed during the episode.

Chantix received more bad press in May when it was revealed that the number of adverse effect reports made to the Food and Drug Administration was actually much larger than had been thought before. Pfizer, the makers of the anti-smoking drug, had submitted a report of Chantix side effects that included 150 suicides through improper channels.

Other side effects of Chantix such as heart disease, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, and diabetes, are not yet taking as central a role. Yet the evidence for such other negative Chantix side effects continues to grow. For example, the FDA recently required the labeling of Chantix with warnings about heart disease, and a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found an increase in heart disease with the use of Chantix.

Bellwether trials to pave way for Chantix lawsuit settlements?

The bellwether trials may go a long way in determining the chances of future Chantix lawsuit settlement. These cases were chosen specifically for their representative nature, and a large award to the plaintiffs might make Pfizer more likely to settle when cases more prominently featuring the other Chantix side effects appear. Conversely, a favorable ruling might make Pfizer more likely to go to trial in the future.

Future claims, focusing more on different side effects, might result in a chantix lawsuit settlement rather than going to trial. Professionals such as a chantix lawyer would be able to help identify claims worth taking to court, and help determine the likelihood the claim would be settled .