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Pennsylvania Jury Awards $72.6 Million To 3 Women In HRT Breast Cancer Case

PHILADELPHIA - (Mealey's) A Pennsylvania state court jury on Dec. 6 awarded $72.6 million to three women who say they developed breast cancer after taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs made by subsidiaries of Pfizer Inc. (Susan Elfont, et al. v. Wyeth, et al., No. 040700924, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

A jury in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas answered "yes" to questions about whether Premarin, Prempro or Provera were factual causes of the plaintiffs' breast cancers, a source told Mealey Publications

The jury awarded Susan Elfont $20 million, Bernadette Kalenkoski $27.85 million and Judy Mulderig $24.75 million. 

Elfont, now 66, took Premarin and then Provera for two years and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.  Kalenkoski, now 68, took Prempro for four years and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. 

Judy Mulderig took Premarin and then Provera for 11 years. 

Premarin and Prempro are HRT drugs made by Wyeth.  Provera is an HRT drug made by Pharmacia & Upjohn.   

Both companies are now part of Pfizer. 

The plaintiffs filed their suit in 2004.  In September, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss denied the defendants' motion for a phased trial and to sever the plaintiffs but granted their motion for reverse bifurcation. 

By November, only one claim remained:  negligent failure to warn. 

The trial started Nov. 14.  Judge Sandra Mazer Moss presided. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Tobias L. Millrood of Schiffrin, Barroway, Topaz & Kessler in Radnor, Pa.; Matthew P. Teague, Ted G. Meadows, Danielle Ward Mason and Russell T. Abney of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles in Montgomery, Ala.; L. Leonard Lundy of Lundy Law in Philadelphia; and Diane Hockstein in Philadelphia.  

The defendants are represented by Diane P. Sullivan, Christopher R. Boisuert, Judy Leone, Donald C. LeGower and John J. Sullivan of Dechert in Philadelphia; Emily J. Lawrence, Alicia M. Friend and Maria Gonzalez Calvet of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia; Joseph P. Thomas and Matthew V. Brammer of Ulmer & Berne in Cincinnati; and Nancy H. Marvel of Berwyn, Pa.

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