Pfizer Prevails in Class Actions

After more than two years of litigation, Skadden client Pfizer emerged victorious from claims it falsely marketed Lipitor. Plaintiffs had filed three putative nationwide class actions in separate jurisdictions, but notably did not allege that Lipitor caused personal injury or that it failed to lower cholesterol. Skadden was able to win dismissal of the claims of plaintiffs who lacked standing to sue and rulings that all of the plaintiffs' consumer fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims based on promotion after July 30, 2004 were both pre-empted by federal law and fell within state statutory "safe harbor provisions." After Pfizer later won summary judgment on many remaining claims, the plaintiffs moved to file a second amended complaint. Shortly after Judge Adalberto Jordan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied plaintiffs leave to amend on Sept. 6, 2007, and just before Pfizer moved on the remaining claims, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss voluntarily all of their claims, with prejudice, and waive to their right to appeal any rulings.