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Kano State Is Suing Pfizer For More Than $2 Billion

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*~MuDa~*:
The U.S. pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, has confirmed in a statement that out of court talks with the Kano State government in northern Nigeria have broken down. Kano State is suing Pfizer for more than $2 billion for a 1996 clinical drug trial that it says killed 11 children. Sarah Simpson has more from Lagos.

In the statement, Pfizer described as "unfortunate" a decision by Kano State officials to call off talks over an alleged illegal clinical drug test.

Kano state officials had previously said discussions intended to reach an out of court settlement with the drug company ended because they were dissatisfied with the way the talks were going. However, in the Pfizer statement, Spokesman Chris Loder said efforts to try the case in the media and intimidate the company and the courts had impeded the process.

Kano State is suing Pfizer for over $2 billion for what it says was an unauthorized clinical trial of a meningitis treatment on children in 1996. They say the trials left 11 children dead, and seriously disabled others.

Pfizer says the 11 children died of meningitis. It says those left disabled display symptoms associated with meningitis survivors.

Pfizer has rigorously maintained that it had the full authorization of the Nigerian federal and state governments before conducting the trial, and that consent was obtained from parents or guardians of all 200 children involved.

Kano State Attorney General Aliyu Umar disputes this. He says the drug company took advantage of poor, illiterate Nigerians to carry out tests amid the panic of an epidemic.

More than 12,000 Nigerian children died in the 1996 epidemic of meningitis, an infection of the nervous system that can kill a victim within hours.

Umar says any money paid to Kano State by Pfizer will go to help the children and families of those involved in the trial. But to date, the families of the children who died and those left seriously disabled say they have not received any money or assistance from their government, and even if a payout is awarded to Kano State, few of the families expect any of the cash to reach them.

Some groups that monitor governmental accountability say Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The country earns billions of dollars each year from oil exports, yet the majority of Nigerians live in poverty.

The Kano civil case against Pfizer continues, with the next hearing scheduled for January 28.

The federal government is also seeking several billion dollars in compensation through federal courts

Muhsin:

--- Quote from: *~MuDaCriS~* on December 10, 2007, 01:05:05 PM ---Umar says any money paid to Kano State by Pfizer will go to help the children and families of those involved in the trial. But to date, the families of the children who died and those left seriously disabled say they have not received any money or assistance from their government, and even if a payout is awarded to Kano State, few of the families expect any of the cash to reach them.


--- End quote ---

Mts! That's always the problem. That makes me, at times, hope the money won't even come to govt. But by Allah's grace this time if govt. won the trial, the money would duly come to the right beneficiaries--Amin.

Dan-Borno:
To me, Kano State is making a worst decision by refusing
to settle this matter outside the normal court system.
I am very confident that if this matter is taken to the court
it will take another donkey years, and eventually the Kano
State Government will not be able to finance or pursue
vigorously the case.

They should have remembered that Pfizer is a giant company
with international repute and it wont allow itself to be worn
just like that in a court, for it will tarnish its image, which
pose a great danger to its businesses around the world.

This case started in 1996, and we are now in 2007, that is
virtually 10 years, most of the survived victims are either
in their teens or early 20s, and if this case is still referred
back to the court, i am sure, it will take another 10 years
of legal tussle.

The whole world over are now advocating for ADR, meaning
Alternative Dispute Resolution, I think, Kano State Govt.
should also follow suit, at least instead of $2 billion, why
not go for $1 billion?

*~MuDa~*:
If i got you right DB , are you trying to say that the $2 billion is not realistic? This is Pfizer we are talking about, i think its worth it!

Dan-Borno:
No, not at all Lanlord, ba haka nake nufi ba,
$2 billion could be a chiken feed to pfizer, but
what they are trying to avoid is the open legal
battle which if they allow will possibly expose
the company to so many things, like another
pharmaceutical company taking advantage in
sabotaging their image, or if the case was worn
by Kano State Government, that will be the end
of Pfizer.  So they will prefer to settle the case
out of court to save them all these risks.

On the part of the Kano State Government,
instead of the money they will spend on filing
motions and counter motions, affidavit and
submitting evidences not to talk about series
of objections, they will save alot, ko?

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