Montana Jury Finds for Plaintiff Against Novartis' Zometa


A case against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., which has been closely monitored by product liability lawyers throughout the United States has resulted in a $3.2 million verdict to a woman who suffered debilitating jaw necrosis from Zometa, a bone strengthening drug prescribed to many cancer patients.

The Montana lawsuit was the first of about 550 cases to go to trial against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. All of the claims involve similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn that Zometa side effects can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a condition that causes the jawbone to decay and deteriorate.

Following a five-day trial and eight hours of deliberation, the Missoula County District Court jury handing down the verdict on Wednesday, according to a report in The Missoulian.

Peggy L. Stevens, 57, alleged that she developed Zometa jaw necrosis after receiving the drug intravenously for three years as part of a battle with lymphoma. The condition typically results in severe jaw pain, loosening of the teeth, exposed bone in the mouth and jaw infections.

Zometa (zoledronic acid) is an intravenous injection used to strengthen bones; it is part of a class of medications known as bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are used to reduce bone complications associated with multiple myeloma and bone metastases from solid tumors.

Michael E. Seelie, PA has represented people in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding communities of Orange Park, St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Callahan, Palatka, Fernandina Beach, Gainesville, and Lake City in injury cases since 1978.