Pfizer sued for $384 billion over 1996 meningitis trials

Nigerian victims of the 1996 Pfizer meningitis Trovan vaccine test announced July 20 that they are suing the company for $384 billion.

The Trovan vaccine tests were the cause of at least 11 deaths and left many permanently disabled after a clinical study of patients with severe cases of cerebro-spinal meningitis. As part of the study, patients were treated with either ceftriaxone or the intravenous Trovan.

The 192 victims in this lawsuit, reports, are suing several organizations, including Pfizer Incorporated, Pfizer Specialties Ltd., the Health Care/ Meningitis Trust Fund, the Kano State government, David Odiwo, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The defendants have proposed that the plaintiffs undergo a DNA test to make certain that the victims were part of the botched test. The plaintiffs are against the proposal, saying that the spinal fluid that was taken from them in 1996 would no longer be viable as a specimen, according to

Pfizer Specialties and the Kano state government have claimed to the judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, of the Nigerian Federal High Court, that they were improperly served at the beginning of the court process. Pfizer Specialties is claiming that court papers were not delivered to it, but to Pfizer Incorporated in New York, and the Kano state government alleges that the papers served to it bore the letterhead of a different court. The entire process is expected to take years to conclude.