$1.25 Billion Settlement

Pigford v. Glickman
A class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alleging racial discrimination in its allocation of farm loans and assistance. “When you go to law school, these are the kinds of cases you read about,” said Attorney Harris L. Pogust “When somebody is presented an opportunity to be involved in a case like this you’re honored to be involved in helping these people out.”

The 2008 Farm Bill allowed African-American farmers who submitted late requests but did not obtain a determination on the merits of their cases to bring their legal claims again, according to court papers.

As of Sept. 29, 2008, more than 22,000 farmers filed claims, and more than 15,000 of those claims received compensation under the Pigford claims process, court papers said.

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$72.6 Million

Elfont, et al. v. Wyeth Pharm. Inc., et al.
A Pennsylvania jury ordered Pfizer Inc. to pay $72.6 million in damages to three women who say they developed breast cancer after taking menopause drugs made by the company’s Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn subsidiaries. The jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas awarded $20 million in compensatory damages to Susan Elfont, while Bernadette Kalenkoski received $27.85 million and Judy Mulderig received $24.75 million.

“Obviously, the jury spoke loud and clear yet again in Philadelphia that Wyeth and its hormone therapy products … are dangerous in terms of breast cancer for women,” said Attorney Matt Leckman. “The women are deserving of this justice from this jury — that’s for sure.”

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$34.3 Million Verdict

Kendall v. Wyeth Pharm. Inc., et al.
A Pennsylvania jury handed down a $34 million award against Pfizer, finding that the drug maker willfully failed to warn patients of cancer risks associated with the hormone replacement drugs Premarin, Provera and Prempro.

The jury awarded $6.3 million in compensatory damages and $28 million in punitives to Donna Kendall, a Decatur, Ill., woman who developed invasive breast cancer leading to a double mastectomy after taking the hormone replacement drugs from 1991 to 2002.

“Both she and her doctor believed at the time that the drugs were good for the heart, good for osteoporosis prevention and good for use in the long term,” said Attorney Tobias Millrood.

Millrood presented key evidence, he said, contained in documents showing that the drugs were approved by the FDA provisionally, on the condition that the Wyeth and Upjohn conduct studies of the drugs’ long term effects. Yet the defendants failed to do so.

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$530,000 Settlement

The Ticket Reserve, Inc. (TTR), the parent company of ticket options seller FirstDIBZ, has reached a settlement with 752 members of a class action lawsuit over the massive fraud over Super Bowl tickets.

TTR has agreed to pay a total of $529,920.74 under the terms of the settlement reached this week, which will reimburse the class members for a percentage of their online accounts where their money had been frozen since 2009 by the company. Included in that settlement figure are legal fees and other minor costs, so the pool of money that will be divided among the class members is just under $434,000.

The class action lawsuit was filed in the spring of 2009 after hundreds of customers bought what turned out to be fraudulent “dibz” that would have allowed them to buy Super Bowl and NFL playoff tickets at face value. The tickets never existed and the fraud built on itself with buyers then reselling the dibz they had purchased.

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