Some product liability losses are massive due to wide spread use and distribution of the products. For example, asbestos litigation is now predicted to cost insurers over $100 billion. Other large losses can arise from widely distributed drugs. For example, a new settlement by Pfizer is for over $465 million, according to a December 21, 2016 article in LAW360. “The underlying suit alleged that the company and its executives, including CEO Henry McKinnell, knew that drug safety studies conducted between 1998 and 2004 showed Celebrex and Bextra posed serious cardiovascular risks but hid the information from the public.” In addition, Pfizer previously paid “$894 million to settle product liability and consumer fraud suits brought by drug users and state attorneys general, $1 billion to settle civil allegations it fraudulently promoted and marketed Bextra, and a $1.3 billion criminal fine — at the time the largest ever imposed in the U.S. — for the same fraudulent misbranding.” Thus, total payments over $3.5 billion, to say nothing of professional fees paid to defense lawyers and others.
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