Tuesday, junk science led a Philadelphia jury to award three women (ages 66 to 68) verdicts ranging from $20M to $28.75M in suits alleging that Pfizer's Prempro caused their breast cancer. [Bloomberg; Phil. Inquirer]
Pfizer has won over 3000 of these cases, including 44 that were set for trial, but when juries can award $20M/plaintiff (plus potential punitive damages: Bloomberg discusses a "second phase" of the trial without being clear what that means), it's still profitable to bring long-shot cases like these were, especially when the state courts are less skeptical than federal courts about allowing experts to quack-ily apply one study's results to disparate facts. Which is perhaps why plaintiffs' lawyers have twisted themselves in knots to avoid federal court. Coincidentally, Monday's WSJ discusses the problem of forum shopping for the Philadelphia judicial hellhole.