July 8, 2003 - High Court Approves Class-Action Status for Rezulin Lawsuits
5,000 claims against Pfizer over the recalled diabetes medication Rezulin have been granted class-action status by West Virginia's state Supreme Court. The high court concluded that class certification should have been granted two years ago based on the merits of the claims and evidence linking Rezulin to dozens of cases of liver failure. The plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement for the costs of numerous medical monitoring studies undergone in an attempt to determine how Rezulin has injured them.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Rezulin in 1997. Later that year, Great Britain removed the drug from the market after several users were hospitalized with liver failure. The FDA, though, did not remove Rezulin from the U.S. market until March 2000 after it was linked to dozens of liver-related deaths. Since Rezulin's recall, former users have filed thousands of lawsuits against the drug's maker Warner-Lambert Co., which Pfizer Inc. bought in 2000.