Fall Marks Chantix Lawsuit Progress

Sarah Klein | September 3rd, 2011

Though it may be too soon to expect Chantix settlements, the fall will likely be an eventful time for Chantix multidistrict litigation as cases as the parties begin preparing evidence from the initial discovery pool.

Chantix is a smoking cessation drug manufactured by Pfizer. It was approved for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 and has helped several people quit smoking. However, many former Chantix users and family members have filed lawsuits claiming that the drug caused suicide, heart problems, heart attacks and aggressive behavior.

Goals of Chantix Multidistrict Litigation

This fall, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama will start addressing the Chantix multidistrict litigation (“MDL”).  The MDL involves approximately 1,200 claims seeking Chantix settlement awards.

A multidistrict litigation is created when several individuals with common issues of fact file a lawsuit against a common defendant.  The majority of allegations raised by a Chantix lawyer assert that defendant Pfizer did not disclose the serious risks associated with the medication such as suicide and Chantix violence.

MDL is designed to quickly and effectively resolve similar claims. Rather than individually bringing each case to trial, Chantix multidistrict litigation will bundle some of the cases, possibly settling them in bulk and setting a precedent for the  handling of future Chantix settlements.

The Chantix multidistrict litigation is currently overseen by U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson. Though the parties have not announced any Chantix settlements, they appear to be making progress. A case management conference set for Sept. 16 should provide deeper insight into the status of Chantix lawsuits.

Parties seeking Chantix settlements

As  litigants prepare for trial, the evidence on the table may or may not cause some to engage  in pretrial discussions regarding Chantix settlements. The involved parties are in the midst of determining which depositions should be included in the initial discovery pool.  Disputes regarding the admissibility of the testimony could play a major role in the outcome. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could result in a settlement offer from Pfizer. A ruling in favor of Pfizer could cause more of the cases to continue on path to trial.

Additional side effects such as recent claims of Chantix heart attack, have not yet been place on the calendar in Chantix multidistrict litigation.