Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn approved a $63.8 million class action settlement against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that alleged the pharmaceutical promoted Paxil and Paxil CR to children under 18, while withholding information about Paxil's safety and effectiveness.
"There is no way I can find that this settlement is not fair," Mendelsohn said. "This is as fair as fair can be."
Mendelsohn approved the settlement after competing lawyers representing clients who objected to it changed portions of the settlement.
Under the settlement, anyone who purchased Paxil for someone under 18 will get 100 percent of their out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed if they have proof and file a claim by Aug. 31.
Anyone who does not have proof of purchase is still entitled to receive up to $100 if the claim is supported by an affidavit swearing that Paxil was purchased.
Under the preliminary agreement, undocumented claimants would have only received $15, but during negotiations yesterday, GSK raised the amount and removed the $300,000 cap on undocumented claims.
GSK had asked for the cap on undocumented claims so that it could cut losses on people who never purchased Paxil, but filed a claim anyway as a way to make a quick dollar.
Class attorney Stephen Tillery also reached a settlement with attorneys in a competing class action that will compensate attorneys for the work they did.
Mendelsohn awarded Tillery 26 percent of the total, or $16.8 million in attorneys' fees.
Tillery told Mendelsohn that he decided to settle the case even though he thought he had at least a 75 percent chance to win the case in a Madison County court.
Anyone who wants to file a claim can go to www.paxilpediatricsettlement.com for more information.