A Pennsylvania Superior Court has awarded Connie Barton and Donna Kendall, both of Illinois, compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $45 million after the women blamed their breast cancer on the combination hormone therapy, Prempro.
Originally, a Philadelphia jury awarded Barton $3.7 million in compensatory damages, and $75 million in punitive damages. However, the punitive award was later reduced by a judge to $5.6 million.
Kendall was originally awarded $6.3 million in compensatory damages and $28 million in punitive damages, which was cut by a judge to $1 million.
The Pennsylvania appellate court combined the cases for review, and upheld Kendall’s $28 million punitive award, while Barton’s punitive award was raised to $7.4 million. “There was sufficient evidence of gross negligence and willful and wanton misconduct to support imposition of punitive damages,” the panel said in its 46-page ruling in Barton’s case.
Pfizer faced over 10,000 lawsuits over allegations that Prempro caused breast cancer. The company has set aside nearly $840 million for lawsuit resolution, and has reportedly resolved 46 percent of the total cases against it.
Business Week reports the Pfizer will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review the lower court’s findings. Chris Loder, company spokesperson said in an emailed statement, “We are very disappointed with the court’s decisions in these cases and continue to believe there was no basis in fact or law for the jury verdicts.”