Aredia and Zometa Verdict

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. is on the hook for nearly $1.2 million in damages after a federal jury in North Carolina found that the company failed to warn a woman's doctor that its Aredia and Zometa drugs could cause a disfiguring bone condition. The actual verdict was $12.8 million but is being reduced to $1.2 million due to North Carolina tort reform laws.

The woman's family’s lawsuit was the third product-liability case to go to trial over the bone-strengthening treatments. Last month, a New Jersey jury rejected a woman’s claims that Aredia and Zometa caused her jaw deterioration. In October 2009, a Montana jury ordered Novartis to pay $3.2 million in damages to a cancer patient who made the same claims over the medicines.

Novartis is facing about 700 suits over the bone-strengthening medicines, according to court filings. Some of the cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Tennessee. Others have been sent back to their home courts for trial. Still other cases have been heard in state courts around the country.

Our Zometa/Aredia cases are currently still consolidated in the MDL awaiting transfer for trial.

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