Week Adjourned: 11.27.09

Stork drop-down side cribs recalled; new class action filedTop Class Actions

Well, it certainly didn’t take long—48 hours maybe—after a US/Canada recall of over 2 million Stork Craft drop side cribs was issued that a class action lawsuit was filed.

Filed on behalf of all US and Canadian consumers who purchased baby cribs manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing, the lawsuit is seeking financial compensation for the owners of those cribs.

The recall was big news, not simply because of the number of cribs recalled, but sadly, and more importantly because of the incidents reported to the CPSC and Health Canada that prompted the recall. Specifically, 4 deaths by suffocation in the US and numerous serious falls—110 incidents in total. 

Important to note—the Stork Craft cribs may have been sold under various brand names such as Fisher-Price. Other defendants named in the suit include Sears Canada, and both the US and Canadian arms of Fisher-Price and Wal-Mart. Toys R Us is named as a defendant in Quebec.

Top Settlements

Breast Cancer Victims win Big Against Hormone Replacement Therapy Maker

Two women who each filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that make hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have both won their cases with awards of $34 million to one and $78 million to the other.

On November 20, Donna Kendall was awarded over $6 million in compensatory damages against Wyeth, followed by an award of $16 million in punitive damages against Wyeth awarded on November 23, and $12 million against Pharmacia & Upjohn. 

That’s a fair chunk of change. But unfortunately, you could say Mrs Kendall earned it: she underwent a double mastectomy in 2002 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had used Prempro, Premarin and Provera, not necessarily in that order, from 1998 up until the time of her diagnosis. She named Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn as defendants in her lawsuit, alleging negligence, failure to warn of breast cancer risks in the drug labeling, among other things. 

In a second, similar case, documents unsealed on November 20 revealed a $78.7 million award to Connie Barton, as settlement in her earlier lawsuit brought against Wyeth. Barton also developed breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She stated in her pretrial memorandum that she took Prempro between May 1997 and May 2002.

They Won’t be Protesting $18k…Here’s another one for the books. Cast your mind back to Washington DC, April  2000—and the demonstrations that dogged the IMF and World Bank meetings in that city. It was great television—people getting arrested all over the place for demonstrating…expressing their views—in the United States! What? 

Well, this week a preliminary $13.7 million settlement was reached in the class action lawsuit brought by nearly 700 of those demonstrators.  

The lawsuit was filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice on behalf of protesters and bystanders. According to media reports, the average maximum payment to each plaintiff will be $18,000, if the settlement is approved. But the message from some of the protesters involved in the lawsuit is that it’s not about the money, but people’s civil rights… 

2 thoughts on “Week Adjourned: 11.27.09”

  1. What happens if the person suing dies? My mother has a lawsuit for HRT but she recently passed and it was related to the HRT. Does the case still carry on?

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