Friday, April 23, 2010

Pharmaceutical company goes after defeated plaintiff

Back in 2007, 7-year-old Kristen Spears, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was administered a series of therapeutic Botox shots to relax the girl’s clenched limbs. She died. Her mother sued Allergan, the drug's manufacturer arguing that it had concealed information about the dangers of the drug. But a jury in Santa Ana, California, decided last month Allergan wasn’t responsible for the girl’s death in 2007 death. And now Allergan wants to recover $460,000 in legal costs from the mother. Given that the Spears case was the first to come to trial of 15 plaintiff lawsuits accusing Allergan of hiding the dangers of Botox, it is pretty clear the drugmaker is trying to send a message to other plaintiffs to back off.“I’ve been a lawyer for 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything more outrageous than a corporation pursuing this lady for $460,000,” Spears’ attorney, Ray Chester, tells The Orange County Register. “It’s the worst case of corporate bullying I’ve ever seen.”

What is the potential benefit of this conduct, given the negative publicity it has generated already? I wonder if it was suggested by the trial lawyer, in-house counsel or the entity client itself. Go to Pharmalot for more on this story.

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