Fen-phen Lawsuit Negotiations

Wyeth announces deal to speed some fen-phen claims.

A proposed deal from the maker of fen-phen would mean 40-thousand former users of the diet drug with minor heart valve damage would be compensated more quickly, but with a lot less money. The drugmaker, Wyeth, struck the tentative deal with lawyers representing more than 100-thousand former users of Pondimin and Redux. It would set up a one-and-a-quarter billion-dollar fund to pay the 40 percent of claimants with non-life-threatening valve damage. Specialists would evaluate each claimant's echo-cardiogram. Each person is guaranteed at least two-thousand dollars. Those with documented damage would get more, and additional payments if their condition worsens the next seven years. Plaintiff attorney Jim Doyle says the average plaintiff probably would receive about 68-thousand dollars next year, much less than under an existing settlement, but in far less time.