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Pfizer Settlement in Trovan Case Interrupted by Judge Who Wants Fairness Hearing

A settlement in the Pfizer Trovan case looked so imminent that the governor of Nigeria's Kano state (pictured) reportedly headed to London to sign it today, but a U.S. judge ordered a hearing into whether the settlement is fair, and that is scheduled for June 1.

Back story: The case stems from tests Pfizer did in 1996 during a meningitis outbreak in the African nation. Eleven children died. Trovan's use was restricted in the U.S. and banned in Europe. The events may have inspired the book and movie, The Constant Gardener. Attorney Richard Althschuler claims the settlement is unfair because some victims are uneducated and are being coerced into signing.

The size of the settlement seems to be coming in at around $75 million, as BNET first noted back in March. Here are the details, per TradingMarkets.com:

... the proposed settlement calls for Pfizer to pay $10 million each to the federal Nigerian government, the Nigerian state government and Nigerian government lawyers. Meanwhile, the victims would be paid $35 million, which would equal only about $175,000 for each of the approximately 200 victims.
That adds up to about $65 million. Add on lawyers' fees, and you're getting close to the $75 million that Pfizer, in March, said was "not accurate." On the judge's order, Pfizer told TradingMarkets.com:
The plaintiffs have grossly misrepresented the situation to the court. The fact is that the cases filed by purported study participants in the U.S. are separate and distinct from the Kano State and Nigerian federal government cases filed in Nigeria, which the company has sought to settle for many months.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians are still trying to defraud Pfizer out of money by developing fake lists of Trovan victims. --

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