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Pfizer Now Ordered To Face Asbestos Law Suits

bankruptcy_court-300x187.jpgThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled April 10 that suits against Pfizer over the Insulag product, which was produced by Quigley Co., are not barred by a preliminary injunction. What this means is that Pfizer is not protected from asbestos-related lawsuits that have been filed by more than 160,000 plaintiffs against the now-bankrupt Quigley. In 1968, Pfizer bought out Quigley, a company that is alleged to have sold asbestos-containing products, creating a health hazard. Even though Quigley stopped most operations in 1992, and filed for bankruptcy in 2004, these suits are still an issue for Pfizer. Parent Companies, or companies that have purchased in part or in whole a second company have often sought to escape liability for the actions of the acquired company. What are a parent’s liabilities???. For Pfizer, along with the financial rewards of the acquisition, the were found culpable.

This order is the latest in what seems to be an endless ping pong volley of appeals in the determination of liability in asbestos cases. Quigley’s bankruptcy court imposed a preliminary injunction in 2004 that prevented all parties from filing claims against Pfizer while Quigley’s chapter 11 case was pending. The injunction was modified in 2007, preventing claims against Pfizer over its ownership or management of Quigley. The case is In re Quigley Co., 04-15739, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The appeals case is 11-2635, 11-2767, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Manhattan).

Pfizer.gifPfizer is known to be the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company and the world’s biggest drug-maker by revenue. They are not the typical defendant in an asbestos case. Although the company never actually manufactured the product, the Pfizer logo was clearly placed on the Quigley Insulag packaging. This fact played no small part in the court’s decision to uphold a previous ruling at the district level. Now Pfizer has again been ordered to face culpability for the damage this asbestos containing product has done. Pfizer continues to argue that they are not responsible for products manufactured by Quigley, but they cannot deny that they profited from its sales and the courts could not ignore the bright blue PFIZER logo that donned the asbestos containing Quigley products.

Liability of Parent Companies is being found work-wide. The UK Court of Appeal recently found parent companies are accountable for the activities of their subsidiaries
The judgement handed down early this month in Chandler v Cape Plc [2012] EWCA Civ 525 found Cape Plc liable for the actions of Cape Building Products Ltd it’s subsidiary company which was found to have put its employees at risk, exposing them to asbestos.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos related condition, we can help you. Preserve your legal rights before time runs out. Our experienced Florida asbestos attorneys at Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of these individuals stricken with mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.

medical reference books.jpgREFERENCES:


The Insurance Journal


America Bar Association: Business Law Section