I’m not a fan of sealing verdicts, but I understand why the judge did so:
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) — A Pfizer Inc. unit must pay an undisclosed amount of punitive damages to an Illinois woman who developed breast cancer after taking one of the drugmaker’s menopause treatments, a Philadelphia jury said yesterday.
Jurors deliberated 25 minutes before finding Pfizer’s Wyeth subsidiary was responsible for paying an award to Connie Barton. The specific amount of the award was sealed by the trial judge immediately after it was returned.
There’s another Prempro trial in the same courthouse, and the judge is worried that the jurors in that case might be swayed. I don’t think they’d be swayed as to liability, but if they hear another dollar figure for punitive damages, it will anchor their deliberations and they’ll use that as a baseline.