Poligrip Denture Cream Settlements Have Totaled $120M: Report

GlaxoSmithKline may have paid out more than $120 million in Poligrip denture cream settlements to resolve claims brought by consumers who suffered permanent nerve damage due to zinc in the adhesive products. 

According to a report by Bloomberg News, sources say the manufacturer has settled more than 100 denture cream lawsuits at an average cost of just over $1 million per case.

In August 2010, Glaxo announced in its second-quarter earnings report that they had reached agreements to settle the vast majority of denture cream claims brought over problems with Super Poligrip, but details of the settlements were not made public at that time.

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All of the claims were brought on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered severe neurological injuries as a result of the manufacturer’s failure to disclose that the denture cream contained zinc. According to the complaints, high amounts of zinc in the denture adhesive can enter the body through use of Super Poligrip, leading to permanent and debilitating neurological problems like neuropathy, numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, loss of sensation, loss of balance, paralysis and difficulty breathing.

A number of similar complaints have been brought against Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Fixodent. However, there have been no reports of Fixodent denture cream settlements reached to resolve those claims. Proctor and Gamble has vowed to fight the Fixodent lawsuits, arguing that its products contained less zinc than those of Glaxo and that it does not believe Fixodent can cause neurological damage.

All federal lawsuits over zinc poisoning from denture cream have been centralized before Judge Cecilia M. Altnoaga in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for pretrial litigation. Individual complaints filed by dozens of people throughout the United States have been consolidated to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the court, the parties and the witnesses.

The first Fixodent nerve damage trial is scheduled to begin on June 20.

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