CFC Notes Support for Opt-Out Settlement Process

February 28, 2005

The Claims Facilitating Committee (CFC) announced this week that lawyers representing nearly half of all claimants who have pending lawsuits against Wyeth related to the ingestion of diet drugs have agreed to recommend that their clients participate in the settlement
process negotiated between Wyeth and the CFC.

This settlement process was presented less than 30 days ago to the Federal Judge overseeing all Class Members in the Diet Drug Litigation, the Honorable Harvey Bartle, III. The process is designed to facilitate the resolution of lawsuits filed against Wyeth.

“It is simply amazing that within less than 30 days, well over 100 law
firms who represent thousands of diet drug claimants have committed to recommend this settlement process to their clients. The response has been overwhelming. Moreover, lawyers representing thousands of claimants who haven’t yet committed are seriously considering the deal,” said Jerry Alexander, one of the CFC members.

The proposed settlement would reportedly pay substantial amounts to claimants who have evidence of heart valve leakage based on their age at the time of diagnosis and the extent of valvular leakage. More serious cases involving heart valve surgery and Primary Pulmonary Hypertension would be separately negotiated with Wyeth in an effort to fairly resolve such claims.

“Settlements under this process would end years of litigation between diet drug users and Wyeth. Attorneys representing as few as one client and as many as thousands have agreed to recommend this deal, which illustrates its fairness,” said Ellen Presby of Baron & Budd, another member of the CFC.

According to Wayne Spivey of the CFC, “We have begun the process of working with numerous courts around the country to cancel trial settings in these cases so that we can work with Wyeth to bring these cases to closure. All of the Judges whom we have met with have been very supportive of this process.”

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