Lanier said the donation came from another plaintiffs' attorney who had been watching the case in the courtroom. He told the AP:
"Isn't that wild?" Lanier said. "I've never had anything like that happen before."Wild, and also convenient. As BNET noted July 24, the case was described as "very tough" by the judge. The plaintiff's family claimed Neurontin was prescribed off-label for their daughter, Susan Bulger, who killed herself. The anti-seizure drug was not indicated for depression. But the dead woman had attempted suicide before and had a history of mental problems. The case was probably a loser for Lanier. The real mystery is why he decided to bring it in the first place.
Pfizer can breathe a sigh of relief, too. The first witness, former Pfizer drug sales rep David Franklin, told the court he was stalked by a Pfizer pflunky. AmLaw:
He told the courtroom that the day before trial, a private investigator hired by Pfizer came to his house, blocked the driveway, and would not leave until his wife called the police. After Franklin's testimony -- during which he said that the private investigator had yelled at his wife and frightened his young daughter -- Judge Saris told [Pfizer lawyer William Ohlemeyer of Boies, Schiller & Flexner] that "no one should be going after Dr. David Franklin anymore."Ohlmeyer confirmed the incident to the AP:
"It sounds like this didn't happen the way it should have happened," Ohlemeyer said. "We apologized to (Franklin) for what happened."Having performed The Great Escape -- the settlement truncates any more entertaining testimony about what else Pfizer's spies might have gotten up to in the case -- Kindler then decided to open his mouth. Bloomberg:
"We are pleased to have been vindicated in this case," Jeffrey Kindler, chief executive officer of New York-based Pfizer, said in a phone interview on Bloomberg Television today. Neurontin has been "prescribed to treat millions of patients safely and effectively for many, many years and it's been widely studied for more than two decades," he said."Vindicated?" Lanier didn't like that:
Kindler's comments are "outrageous," Lanier said. "All Pfizer got today was a six-month stay of execution. We have 1,200 more of these cases to go."In a media battle, the freewheeling Lanier will beat Kindler every day of the week. The company had made a great case that Neurontin was the least of Bulger's problems. The plaintiff was so unsympathetic that the judge even had to warn the jury that she was not related to Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. Kindler should stick to winning these things on the facts. The "vindication" here only sets the company up for more difficult cases to come.
- What Docs Didn't Know About Pfizer's Neurontin
- Wyeth Q2: Ah! So That's Why Pfizer's Buying This Company
- Pfizer Q2: All But 3 Drugs in Decline; R&D Spend Lowest Since 2007
- Did Pfizer Violate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Philippine "Bribe" Flap?
- Pfizer Exec Gets 6 Months' Home Confinement for Off-Label Bextra Sales
- Pfizer Will Fall Under Philippines Price Control; Company Ads Deny "Bribe" Attempt
- "Bribe" or No, Pfizer May Get Its Way in Philippines
- Pfizer "Bribe" Scandal in Philippines Heats Up; Company Offered Posters to the President
- UPDATED: Pfizer Accused of "Bribe" to Stave Off Price Control Law in Philippines
- Pfizer Catches Flak for Giving Drug Discounts to Some But Not All Filipinos
- Pfizer to Close S.F. Biotech Center in Favor of Unit Accused in Patent Suit
- Pfizer Patent Suit Could Make Elan Bapineuzamab Talks Go a Whole Lot Easier
- Pfizer's Foreign Viagra Ads: Mailman Jokes; Space Sperm and the Fountain of Youth