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28 Jan 2011

Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel [USA]

WikiLeaks Sparks Interest in Pfizer Court Battle — as 2nd Circuit Splits on Alien Tort Statute

Nearly 15 years after trying an experimental drug on children in Nigeria during a deadly meningitis epidemic, Pfizer Inc. is still battling the legal claims brought by the children's families; the families are still waiting for some sort of compensation; and, the case is still bogged down in pretrial motions…Pfizer continues to insist that the case should be dismissed…A key issue is whether the case can be tried under the Alien Tort Statute…But as the case drags along in Manhattan, new developments are drawing more attention to it. It started with WikiLeaks in December disclosing diplomatic cables that discussed Pfizer's efforts to settle two other cases brought in Nigeria…WikiLeaks has sparked renewed interest in the case in Nigeria, and at least one newspaper has begun an investigation of the drug trial.