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March 2, 2010: Newburgh lawyer wins $34.3M verdict for client vs. drugmaker Pfizer

By Christian Livermore

NEWBURGH — The Illinois woman who won a $34.3 million verdict against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has a local attorney to thank for it.

A Philadelphia jury ordered drug makers Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Upjohn Co., both now owned by Pfizer, to pay Donna Kendall — who developed breast cancer after taking hormone-replacement drugs — $6.3 million in compensatory damages and $28 million in punitive damages. It’s one of several recent verdicts against Pfizer connected to the drugs.

Ron Rosenkranz, senior trial partner at Newburgh-based Finkelstein & Partners, represented Kendall.

For 11 years, Kendall took Premarin and Prempro, and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. That year, a large federal health study was stopped when researchers spotted a spike in breast cancers in women on Prempro.

Rosenkranz has a unique insight into Pfizer — which employs about 2,900 in Pearl River — and the lengths it took to protect its image.

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Andrew Finkelstein

Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties. An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.