Redux/Pondimin Settlement Agreement
Eligibility: Open to all persons who used Pondimin or Redux for any length of time, regardless of whether they have a lawsuit pending. Scope: Covers all claims arising from the use of Pondimin or Redux at any time, except for claims of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH). Maximum Cost of Settlement: Depends on actual claims experience but will not exceed an aggregate payment cap with a maximum present value of $3.75 billion. Will include two separate funds. Fund A ($1 billion, fully payable upon final judicial approval of the settlement) will cover refunds, medical screening costs, additional medical services and cash payments, education and research costs, and administration. Up to $200 million in additional funds will be available for attorneys' fees related to Fund A that are judicially approved. Fund B ($650 million payable upon final judicial approval and the remainder paid over 15 years as and if needed; maximum present value of $2.55 billion) will compensate claimants with significant heart valve disease and pay attorneys' fees related to Fund B that are judicially approved.
Fund A (Refunds/Screening/Medical Services or Cash/Education and Research):
1. Persons who used Pondimin or Redux for more than 60 days
will be offered an echocardiogram and an interpretive visit with a physician;
will, if the echocardiogram shows FDA Positive level(1) heart valve regurgitation, be entitled to choose either $6,000 in cash or $10,000 worth of additional medical services; and
may qualify for a refund of their prescription costs ($30/mo for Pondimin and $60/mo for Redux) up to a $500 cap, to the extent that there are sufficient funds in Fund A.
2. Persons who used Pondimin or Redux for 60 days or less
qualify for a refund of their prescription costs ($30/mo for Pondimin; $60/mo for Redux);
will, if they obtain an echocardiogram on their own during a specified screening period and if that echocardiogram shows FDA Positive level heart valve regurgitation, be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of the echocardiogram up to a specified amount;
may apply to receive an echocardiogram under limited compassionate and hardship programs; and
will, if an echocardiogram shows FDA Positive level heart valve regurgitation, be entitled to choose either $3,000 in cash or 5,000 worth of additional medical services.
3. An education and research fund of $25 million will be established to sponsor additional education and research concerning heart disease.
Fund B (Compensation Program): 1. Class members who are diagnosed with FDA Positive level or mild mitral regurgitation as of the end of the screening period and who register for benefits will be eligible for additional payments in the event that -- within 14 years from final approval of the settlement (but not later than December 31, 2015[AHP1]) -- they develop serious heart valve disease, as defined in the settlement. 2. The amount of the payment to which a class member may be entitled may be up to approximately $1.5 million. The amount of the payment will depend on several factors, including the kind and degree of regurgitation at the end of the screening program, the severity of the heart valve condition ultimately claimed, the class member's age and other medical conditions and the duration of drug use. Timing of Benefits: Class members will begin to receive settlement benefits following final judicial approval.
Accelerated Implementation Option: Claimants who would like to receive settlement benefits sooner will be given the opportunity to participate in a separate agreement with AHPC on the same terms as those in the settlement, but without any option to opt out of the agreement. Benefits under this option will become available following trial court approval of the settlement and will be provided regardless of the outcome of any appeals.
Opt Outs: The agreement provides three opportunities to opt out of the settlement. All claimants will have the customary opportunity to opt out before the settlement is approved by the court. Claimants who first learn that they are FDA Positive during the screening period will also have an opportunity to opt out shortly thereafter. Claimants will then have another opportunity to opt out at the time they first qualify for a Compensation Program payment. In the latter two instances, class members who opt out will forego the right to seek punitive damages. AHPC may terminate the settlement at its discretion based on the number of initial opt outs.
AHPC Payments: Initial payments into the funds are anticipated to begin later this year and to continue for approximately 16 years after final judicial approval, if needed. Payments to be made during the next two years are anticipated to total $1.85 billion. In the aggregate, all payments under the settlement cannot exceed $3.75 billion in present value. Future payments will be made only as and if needed and are subject to annual maximum amounts.
AHPC Credits for Payments to Opt Outs: AHPC will receive a credit against the aggregate payment cap for payments to specified categories of claimants who opt out. The amount of the credit will depend on the point at which the claimant has opted out, the nature of the claimant's alleged injuries, and the amount of the claimant's financial recovery. (1) "FDA Positive" level valve regurgitation means mild, moderate or severe aortic valve regurgitation or moderate or severe mitral valve regurgitation. These are the levels of regurgitation used by the FDA in September 1997 to assess the possible association of regurgitation with diet drug use.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of taking any drug or supplement, call Law Offices of Robert Dourian now at 800-790-8856 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to review your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.