Jury Awards $10.45 Million in Novartis Injury Case
Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) December 21, 2012 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has been hit with a $10.45 million verdict in a case of jawbone damage as a result of taking the drug Zometa.
Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney David Lietz assisted the plaintiff’s attorneys on the case.
“This verdict is a big win not just for the plaintiff, Ms. Davids, but for any patient injured by prescription medication,” Mr. Lietz said in a statement. “Drug manufacturers are on notice not to trifle with patients’ safety.”
Zometa is a member of a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. These drugs are commonly prescribed to patients with osteoporosis to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of serious fractures.
Barbara Davids sued Novartis, claiming to have developed osteonecrosis, or fossy jaw, as a result of taking Zometa, which was included in her drug regimen for breast cancer.
Of the eight cases involving Zometa-related jawbone damage that have gone to trial, this marks the fourth win for plaintiffs, and the second-largest award of damages. The jury, in Central Islip, N.Y., returned the verdict on November 2, in which it awarded $450,000 in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.
The plaintiff introduced emails written by Novartis employees into evidence, including one that made mention of a proposed report linking Zometa to jawbone problems and described it as “quite damaging.” Another email referencing the report said, “we’ll try to avoid that the paper is ever published; we will be ready to react in case it gets published.”
Mr. Lietz added, “The real credit for this tremendous victory belongs to lead trial counsel John Vecchione and John Beins. They put everything they had into this case, including suffering through Hurricane Sandy, and achieved a victory for Ms. Davids. My hat is off to Mr. Vecchione and Mr. Beins.”
Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis issued a statement saying the company intends to review its options for appeal.
Individuals seeking representation can visit the website at http://www.lietzlaw.com and fill out a simple contact form to quickly receive a call back from an attorney. Or call 866-554-1238.
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