Hood's Zyprexa case dismissed

John O'Brien Jan. 27, 2010, 4:59pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's lawsuit against Zyprexa-maker Eli Lilly & Co. has been dismissed, two months after a federal judge granted the company summary judgment.

A dismissal order was entered Tuesday, with both sides agreeing to pay their own legal fees. No settlement was entered.

U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein had granted the company summary judgment on all claims but one, which Eli Lilly spokesperson Marni Lemons said constituted "a small portion" of Mississippi's claims.

Weinstein rejected the statistical analysis relied upon by Hood's attorneys, led by Houston firm Bailey Perrin Bailey, to show that the company harmed the state's Medicaid program.

Weinstein wrote that a ruling in favor of Mississippi could have been dangerous.

"If allowed to proceed in their entirety, the State's claims could result in serious harm or bankruptcy for this defendant and the pharmaceutical industry generally," he wrote.

"For the legal system to be used for this slash-and-burn style of litigation would arguably constitute an abuse of the legal process. Constitutional, statutory and common law rights of those injured to seek relief from the courts must be recognized. But courts cannot be used as an engine of an industry's destruction."

Of the 12 states that did not settle their claims against Eli Lilly in a 33-state, $62-million agreement six have already made their settlements official and others have tentative agreements. The states that have settled are Connecticut, West Virginia, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico and South Carolina.

Lilly has paid $1.4 billion to settle federal civil and criminal claims stemming from alleged off-label marketing.

The payment also benefited the Medicaid programs of more than 30 states that collectively received approximately $362 million.

Bailey Perrin, which donated $75,000 to Hood, is also representing the states of Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. None of those three states have finalized settlements.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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Mississippi Attorney General
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Jackson, MS 39201

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