Glaxo Poligrip Zinc Poisoning Lawsuits Settled for Millions, Report Says

Bloomberg News is reporting that GlaxoSmithKline has settled scores of <"">Poligrip zinc poisoning lawsuits for millions of dollars over the past nine months. According to the report, unidentified sources claim the Poligrip zinc poisoning settlements averaged more than $1 million apiece, and total around $120 million.

Since a 2008 report in the journal Neurology linked excessive exposure to zinc in denture creams like Poligrip and <"">Fixodent to severe neurological problems, hundreds of people have filed lawsuits against Glaxo, as well as Procter & Gamble, the maker of Fixodent. The denture cream zinc poisoning lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court in Miami. Andres Alonso, a partner with the national law firm of <"">Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, is a Co-Lead counsel in the litigation. According to Bloomberg, Mr. Alonso was not available to comment on the reported Poligrip settlements.

All of the lawsuits in the Miami litigation claim that the makers of Poligrip and Fixodent failed to provide adequate warnings about the health risks of zinc.

As we’ve reported previously, Glaxo moved over a year ago to remove zinc from three of its Super Poligrip products, citing reports of neurological injuries possibly associated to excessive exposure to zinc in the denture creams. The products have since been reformulated to be zinc-free.

Around the same time, Procter & Gamble did alter its Fixodent label to include a caution about overuse of the product. But Fixodent is still made with zinc.

Earlier this year, Glaxo said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing it had “reached agreements in principle to settle the vast majority of the current cases.” But according to Bloomberg, the company did not put a dollar amount on the Poligrip settlements.

“I’m not surprised that the per-case average of the settlements is around $1 million because that reflects the seriousness of the injuries alleged in these cases,” Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability and mass-tort law at the University of Richmond, told Bloomberg in a phone interview.

According to Bloomberg, Procter & Gamble has not announced any settlements in Fixodent lawsuits. The first Fixodent trial is expected to begin in the Miami litigation on June 20. The lawsuit, filed by Florida resident Marianne Chapman, claims Fixodent zinc poisoning caused her to suffer “severe neurological injuries.”

In a court filing, Procter & Gamble asserts that Chapman’s overuse of Fixodent during an eight- year period caused her injuries.

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