Zicam Maker Settles 2,100 Smell/Taste Injury Claims For $15.5M

Zicam Maker Settles 2,100 Smell/Taste Injury Claims For $15.5M

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- (Mealey's) Zicam maker Matrixx Initiatives Inc. on Dec. 14 said it has agreed to settle about 2,100 claims by people who claim to have lost their sense of smell or taste from the company's zinc-based nasal cold remedy gel for $15.5 million.

Matrixx Initiatives said it will pay a total of $15.5 million "including $11.5 million after satisfaction of certain contingencies and approximately $4 million in subsequent payments within twenty-one months."

The company said the settlement program is voluntary but said any claims made after the date of the settlement will be ineligible to participate.

Matrixx said the agreement will resolve the bulk of outstanding claims:  about 1,014 plaintiffs and another 1,127 potential claimants.

The company said the agreement was reached with plaintiffs' lead counsel in the federal multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and in consolidated litigations in Arizona and California state courts.

Plaintiffs allege that when they used Zicam zinc-based over-the-counter nasal cold prevention and remedy products, they suffered anosmia -- the loss of sense of smell -- and/or loss of the sense of taste.  The nasal gel products were withdrawn from the market last year after the Food and Drug Administration warned Matrixx it needed to file a new drug application and that it failed to warn consumers of the products' risks.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the Dec. 16 issue of Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.]

For more information, call editor Tom Moylan at 215-988-7739, or e-mail him at tom.moylan@lexisnexis.com.