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Several drug makers win in product liability litigation

Trend may be good news for corporate defendants

According to an analysis reported by Reuters, a series of wins for pharmaceutical companies defending themselves in product liability litigation may be good news for corporate defendants in general.

In the past few years, AstraZeneca, Merck & Co, and Pfizer Inc. have all found themselves on the winning end of bellwether cases, which are sample trials consolidated before a state or federal court in which hundreds, sometimes thousands, of plaintiffs have similar complaints. When a defendant wins a bellwether case, oftentimes plaintiffs drop their claims or settle out of court.

A bellwether trial is set to begin in February for Toyota Motor Co.’s unintended acceleration legal troubles. The outcome of that case could affect future litigation for Toyota with regard to that issue.

Read more of Reuters analysis about the impact of bellwether cases on corporate defendants.


Cathleen Flahardy

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