Sweetland et al v. GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
Nova Scotia Supreme Court File: Hfx No. 315567
A Canada-wide settlement has been reached in the Avandia Class Action certified by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The Class Action sought compensation for cardiovascular injuries which were allegedly related to the use of Avandia. The Defendants deny the allegations made in the Class Action and make no admission as to the truth of these allegations. Class Counsel is aware of additional similar Avandia litigation in Canada, a list of which may be accessed here. The settlement, if approved, will also resolve these actions.
In order for the Settlement to become effective, it must be approved by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The Court must be satisfied that the Settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the Class. The Settlement Approval Hearing is scheduled for January 29, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at The Law Courts Building, 1815 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Deadline to submit Objections to the Settlement or to
Class Counsel Legal Fees
|January 15, 2019|
|Deadline to submit Opt Out Forms||January 15, 2019|
|Settlement Approval Hearing||January 29, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.|
What Does the Settlement Provide?
The Settlement provides for a Minimum Settlement Amount of $4,116,666.67 (CND) and up to a Maximum Settlement Amount of $6,750,000.00 (the “Settlement Payment”), depending on the number of approved claims. The Settlement Payment will be used to pay compensation for Approved Claimants, the claims of provincial health insurers, the costs of notice and administration, and Class Counsel Legal Fees. Approved Claimants must satisfy the eligibility criteria set out in the Compensation Protocol. You can review the Settlement documents here.
Who is Included in the Class?
If approved, the Settlement applies to the Class certified by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia: all persons in Canada, including their estates, who were prescribed and ingested Avandia (the “Primary Class”); and the spouses (including common-law spouses and same-sex spouses), children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings of deceased members of the Primary Class (the “Family Class”).
Compensation is available for primary Class Members who used Avandia for at least thirty continuous days commencing before December 2010 and who suffered one of the following injuries within no more than one year of such use: myocardial infarction (heart attack), congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG surgery), and percutaneous coronary intervention with stent placement.
At or following the Settlement Approval Hearing, Class Counsel will make a separate motion requesting approval for payment of fees, disbursements and applicable taxes. Class Counsel have pursued this lawsuit on a contingency basis, which provides for payment of legal fees of 25% of the total value of the settlement plus applicable taxes, as well as recovery of out of pocket expenses. Class Counsel will seek approval from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for such payment in accordance with the terms of its retainer agreement. The total value of the settlement depends on the number of approved claims. The maximum amount of legal fees for which Class Counsel will seek approval will be $1,687,500 (25% of the maximum settlement amount of $6,750,000) plus applicable taxes of 15%. If less than the maximum settlement amount is reached, Class Counsel will seek approval of a lower amount, i.e. 25% of the settlement amount paid, plus applicable taxes of 15%. The maximum amount of disbursements for which Class Counsel will seek approval is $400,000, representing the out of pocket expenses incurred by Class Counsel. This excludes future costs of notice and claims administration, for which the Defendants have agreed to contribute up to $250,000 out of the Maximum Settlement Amount.
Objecting to the Settlement and Opportunity to Appear:
If you wish to object to the Settlement, or to Class Counsel Legal Fees, you may submit a written objection, referencing Hfx. No. 315567, to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia at The Law Courts, 1815 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J1S7, with a copy to Wagners at the address below, to be sent no later than January 15, 2019. You may also attend the Settlement Approval Hearing and you may make oral submissions to the Court.
Participation in the Settlement:
If the Settlement is approved, to participate in the Class Action, you must submit a Claim Form to the Claims Administrator by the Claims Deadline. Information about how and when to apply for settlement funds will be provided in a future notice and will be posted here.
What if I Don't Want to be in the Class Action?
If you are a Primary or Family Class Member and do not wish to be bound by the Class Action and/or by the Settlement (if approved), you must Opt Out. To Opt Out, you must fully complete and submit an Opt Out Form to Wagners by the Opt Out Deadline of January 15, 2019. Opt Out Forms are available here or may be requested from Class Counsel. If you Opt Out, you will not be able to make a claim for compensation under the Settlement.
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