Pfizer ordered to pay damages to cancer patient

Posted on Feb 24, 2010
A Philadelphia jury awarded $9.45 million in damages to an Alabama woman who claimed that Pfizer, Inc.'s hormone-replacement drug caused her breast cancer.

Audrey Singleton, a retired school bus driver and mother of 3, was awarded $3.25 million in compensatory damages and $6 million in punitive damages. Her husband was also awarded $200,000 in loss of consortium.

Singleton began taking Pfizer's hormone-replacement drug, Prempo in 1997. She stopped taking the drug in 2004 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Pfizer plans to appeal the decision claiming Singleton knew of the risks in 2002, when a study was released linking the drug to cancer. Singleton's physician encouraged her to continue use of the drug.

6 million women took the hormone-replacement drugs prior to 2002. 8,000 people who took the drug have filed suit against the company. Pfizer has lost 7 out of 10 of the suits against the company similar to Singleton's. 
Singleton's lawyer says she is pleased with the verdict. Her cancer is in remission.