Glaxo Plaintiff Lawyers Settle Dispute Over $143 Million
Lawyers who won what may be a $2.3 billion settlement with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) over its Avandia diabetes drug resolved their own fight over the allocation of more than $143 million in legal fees.
Eight lawyers on a court-appointed fee committee agreed to take a smaller portion of the fee fund after nine objectors challenged their payouts, a special master assigned to review the recommendations said in court papers made public Jan. 18 in federal court in Philadelphia. The fee committee had asked for 71 percent of the fund set aside by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe for the Avandia cases before her.
“Allocating a limited pot of common benefit fees among numerous counsel, all of whom are talented and capable attorneys and many of whom have made a significant contribution to the ultimate success of (a) case, is an unenviable task that is sure to lead to hurt feelings and bruised egos,” Bruce Merenstein, the special master, wrote in the filing. “Yet, all of the parties involved handled this difficult task with care and equanimity.”
The fee fund is 6.25 percent of the total settlement, according to court records. That means the total accord may be worth $2.3 billion and the average payout for the 40,000 users of Avandia involved in the litigation would be about $57,500 -- before legal fees. People familiar with the settlement who didn’t want to be named because the terms weren’t public have said the fee fund was 7 percent of the total.