Digitek lawyers settle fees dispute

Steve Korris Jul. 12, 2011, 8:00am


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - Lawyers who feuded in public over fees from national litigation against drug maker Actavis and distributor Mylan settled the dispute privately.

On July 5, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, of West Virginia, found that "the parties have reached a negotiated settlement of this matter."

If they hadn't compromised, Goodwin would have awarded fees to a plaintiff steering committee as he saw fit.

Actavis and Mylan agreed last year to pay $10 million to settle about 3,200 claims that heart medicine Digitek caused injuries.

This year, the plaintiff committee petitioned for Actavis and Mylan to pay more than $6 million in fees and expenses.

Actavis and Mylan urged Goodwin to award nothing or an extremely small amount.

They argued that settlement reflected only nuisance value.

Goodwin ruled in May that the committee deserved a significant award, but he prescribed a very substantial reduction from their request.

He set a June 5 deadline, writing that he would pick a number if the
parties didn't.

He formally extended the deadline by 15 days and informally waited another 15.

He declared the committee's fee petition moot.

Litigation started in 2008, after Actavis recalled a batch of Digitek due to fears that a plant in New Jersey produced pills of double thickness.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation consolidated cases from around the nation and assigned them to Goodwin.

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