The litigation against Pfizer stemmed from claims that Bextra and Celebrex increased the risk and incidence of cardiovascular events in patients who were prescribed the medications primarily for arthritis-related pain. Seeger Weiss LLP, along with co-counsel, was one of the first firms to file Bextra and Celebrex related complaints against Pfizer in the United States and represented approximately 400 claimants. In 2005, Pfizer withdrew Bextra from the market, while Celebrex remained, but with a required Black Box safety warning regarding the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
How Was the Settlement Structured?
Seeger Weiss LLP founding partner Christopher A. Seeger, a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Bextra and Celebrex Marketing Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, helped to shape the $894 million settlement which was announced by Pfizer on October 17, 2008.
In total, there were several thousand lawsuits filed against Pfizer because of Bextra and Celebrex related injuries and deaths. The settlement figure announced was split up to deal with the various claims that were brought against Pfizer:
- $745 million went toward personal-injury lawsuits;
- $60 million went to states regarding the Bextra marketing claims; and
- $89 million was allocated to resolve the consumer-fraud cases.
What is the Current Status of Bextra and Celebrex Lawsuits?
A Securities Class Action Against Pfizer Settled for $486 Million
In 2016, a related securities class action lawsuit filed by investors in 2004, was settled for $486 million. The investors claimed that Pfizer concealed information regarding studies of Bextra and Celebrex, that demonstrated the drugs might increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Once the studies were released to the public, and Bextra was pulled from the market, Pfizer’s share price dropped, and investors suffered losses.